California Governor Newsom is considering nixing new death sentences in local criminal cases, according to the Los Angeles Times.
This news comes on the heels of an executive order which halted the execution of the state’s 737 death row inmates by putting a moratorium on the death penalty. And while this is in line with Newsom’s stated goal to abolish the death penalty, it presents a tension with California’s Attorney General Becerra, who has previously presented himself as a proponent of capital punishment.
Becerra has not clarified his position on the death penalty since Newsom’s statements, and it’s unclear what role he might be expected to play in the Governor’s plan or whether he would have to face legal challenges.
We get the latest.
We reached out to Governor Newsom and Attorney General Becerra. They did not get back to us in time for this interview.
Attorney General Becerra provided this statement:
“We must always strive to sustain a criminal justice system that reflects our values of fairness and equality. Governor Gavin Newsom’s action represents a bold, new direction in California’s march toward perfecting our search for justice.”
They also sent us this statement from a DOJ Spokesperson:
“The Department of Justice will work with Governor Newsom and his team as he implements his executive order and will continue to hold criminals accountable. We are in the process of determining our precise role as we move forward.”
Phil Willon, reporter covering Gov. Gavin Newsom and California politics for the Los Angeles Times