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California governor halts death penalty: 'I couldn't sleep'


Added 03-15-19 12:11:01am EST - “California Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday halted the death penalty, saying he was deeply troubled by the possibility of executing an innocent person even though California voters have repeatedly backed capital punishment. Newsom…” - News.yahoo.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From News.yahoo.com: “California governor halts death penalty: 'I couldn't sleep'”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

SACRAMENTO (Reuters) - California Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday halted the death penalty, saying he was deeply troubled by the possibility of executing an innocent person even though California voters have repeatedly backed capital punishment.

Newsom was convinced by statistics suggesting that perhaps dozens of the 737 inmates on the state's death row were innocent. The state has not held an execution since 2006 but appeared to be moving toward resuming them.

“I couldn’t sleep at night," Newsom said at the state capitol, adding later, "Do we have the right to kill? I don't believe we do."

In signing an executive order that grants reprieve to death row inmates and closes the state's execution chamber, Newsom waded into treacherous political territory. Despite California's liberal reputation and growing unease with the death penalty, voters have repeatedly repudiated efforts to abolish it.

As recently as 2016, a measure to abolish the death penalty failed, and another, aimed at speeding up executions, passed.

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