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California s new governor may commute death sentences
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Mar 14, 2019 4:28 AM 1+ week ago

Newsom signed an executive order granting reprieves to all 737 condemned inmates on the nation's largest death row. That means no executions while he's governor.

He was backed by fellow Democratic lawmakers who introduced a ballot measure that would repeal the death penalty next year by putting the politically perilous issue before voters for the third time in eight years. Voters supported capital punishment in 2012 and 2016, when they voted to speed up executions by shortening appeals.

"I cannot sign off on executing hundreds and hundreds of human beings, knowing -- knowing -- that among them will be innocent human beings," Newsom said, citing examples of condemned inmates who were ultimately exonerated. California would have to execute one inmate each day for more than two years to empty death row, he noted.

Critics accused Newsom of usurping voters' will. One Republican lawmaker said Newsom broke the trust of those who elected him in November, and a prominent victims' rights law firm suggested ...

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