SACRAMENTO, CA (NBC) — California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday halting executions, granting a reprieve to the state’s 737 death row inmates.
Newsom said his views on the death penalty were shaped 40 years ago through his grandfather’s and father’s advocacy on behalf of a wrongfully convicted man.
Newsom strongly believes he has the power to save the lives of more than 700 prisoners now living on death row, even though voters approved Proposition 66 three years ago to speed up death penalty appeals.
“The will of the voters is also entrusted to me on my constitutional right to grant a reprieve,” Newsom said at the State Capitol.
Mike Rushford, president of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, said that Newsom’s action was “a slap in the face to the crime victims of this state and to the voters of California.”
Rushford then directed his comments to the murderers on death row.
“What should we do with these people? Let them watch TV and study art? I don’t think so, and I don’t think the families of those dead cops think so either.”
Read more: http://bit.ly/2u76jqX