txking/iStock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a moratorium on the death penalty Wednesday, halting more than 700 executions in the state.The executive order grants a reprieve to 737 inmates on the country’s largest death row and halts the use of the death penalty in the state, according to the governor’s office.“I do not believe that a civilized society can claim to be a leader in the world as long as its government continues to sanction the premeditated and discriminatory execution of its people,” Newsom said in prepared remarks on Wednesday. “In short, the death penalty is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian.”The move is especially controversial considering that California voters rejected a ballot measure that would have repealed the death penalty in 2016.Newsom, who signaled that he wanted to move on the issue when he first took office, cited high costs, racial inequities and lack of deterrent as key reasons behind the decision.“It has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can’t afford expensive legal representation,” Newsom said. “It has provided no public safety benefit or value as a deterrent.“But most of all, the death penalty is absolute. Irreversible and irreparable in the event of human error,” he added, noting that the state had spent $5 billion since 1978 to keep inmates on death row.Newsom, a Democrat, said he is not issuing commutations for the convicted. California’s last execution was in 2006, under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.The executive order will also close the execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison, which has never been used, and withdraws California’s lethal injection protocol.Sharon Sellitto, a victim’s advocate whose brother, Paul Cosner, is believed by authorities to be a murder victim of serial killers Charles Ng and Leonard Lake, told ABC she is “heartbroken” by the governor’s decision.“He’s not the judge, not the jury and was not at the trial,” Sellitto told ABC News in a phone interview Tuesday evening. “He should be concerned with the victims, not the perpetrators.”Sellitto said she received a phone call Tuesday night from the Department of Corrections Office of Victims Survivors Rights and Services giving her a heads-up about the governor’s announcement and providing her with a contact in his office if she wished to speak to anyone further about his decision.“Awful, just awful,” she said. “Nobody should use the word ‘justice’ in my presence again.”Mike Semanchik, managing attorney for the California Innocence Project — which works to exonerate inmates on death row — cheered the move.“Conservative estimates suggest 4 percent of people on death row are innocent. That conservative estimate means 29 of the 737 people are awaiting execution for a crime they did not commit,” Semanchik tweeted Wednesday. “Thank you, Gavin Newsom, for eliminating the risk of executing the innocent!”“It has been my dream for many years that we would end the human rights violation known as the death penalty in California,” Justin Brooks, director of the California Innocence Project and a professor at California Western School of Law, said. “It is certain that as long as there is the death penalty there is the risk of executing innocent people. I am proud of our new Governor for taking this bold step.”Kim Kardashian West, who has championed criminal justice reform and successfully lobbied President Donald Trump to commute a Tennessee woman’s life sentence, said she was “very supportive” of the governor’s decision.Criminal justice experts said Newsom’s decision will most likely be challenged in court.The Association of Deputy District Attorneys, which represents about 1,000 deputy district attorneys in Los Angeles County, called the decision “hasty and ill-considered.”“The voters of the State of California support the death penalty,” Association President Michele Hanisee said in a statement Tuesday amid rumors about the governor’s decision. “Governor Newsom, who supported the failed initiative to end the death penalty in 2006, is usurping the express will of California voters and substituting his personal preferences via this hasty and ill-considered moratorium on the death penalty.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
ShareTweetShareShareEmail Click to comment ShareTweetShareShareEmailCommentsThe European Handball Federation announced schedule for EHF Champions League TOP 16 clashes. The knock-out stage will begin in Kiel on March 22 with German derby between THW Kiel and Rhein Neckar Lowen.VELUX EHF Champions League – Last 16 overviewHBC Nantes (FRA) vs Paris Saint-Germain Handball (FRA)1st leg: 25 March, 20:45 / 2nd leg: 1 April 17:00Montpellier HB (FRA) vs KS Vive Tauron Kielce (POL)1st leg: 26 March, 17:00 / 2nd leg: 2 April, 18:00HC Prvo plinarsko drustvo Zagreb (CRO) vs Telekom Veszprém (HUN)1st leg: 25 March, 18:00 / 2nd leg: 1 April, 17:30Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN) vs MOL-Pick Szeged (HUN)1st leg: 26 March, 16:50 / 2nd leg: 2 April, 17:00HC Meshkov Brest (BLR) vs SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER)1st leg: 26 March, 17:00 / 2nd leg: 2 April, 19:30THW Kiel (GER) vs Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER)1st leg: 22 March, 18:30 / 2nd leg: 30 March, 19:00 Related Items: Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published.Comment Name Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. read more
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventState Sen. Chuck Poochigian will be the keynote speaker, and Sen. Jackie Speier will act as master of ceremonies. “\ means so much to me,” Hadjinian said. “My grandfather cried every year at it. He witnessed the murder of his father and uncle. “The Turkish soldiers pulled him out of his house, had him stand on his knees and then made him look the other way while they shot his father and uncle. My grandfather was 13.” At least 800 people are expected at memorial events scheduled Saturday and Sunday at the Montebello Armenian Genocide Monument, where leaders have planned a vigil, speeches, prayers and recitations throughout the weekend. Integral to any talk of the Armenian genocide is the issue of Turkey’s denial that the massacre was the result of state-sponsored extermination, according to the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia. MONTEBELLO – Talking about the 1915 Armenian genocide is not just an abstract history lesson for Montebello resident Jack Hadjinian. Thirty members of his family were murdered under the rule of the Young Turks between the years of 1915 and 1917, when the Turkish government killed 1.5 million Armenians. The Young Turks government was part of Turkey’s multi-century Ottoman Empire, which fell in 1922. Hadjinian’s grandfather – who was 13 at the time – escaped after watching Turkish soldiers murder his father and uncle. His family later made their way to Detroit and eventually to Montebello, home to one of the largest populations of Armenians outside of Armenia. This weekend, Hadjinian will join hundreds of other members of Montebello’s Armenian diaspora to commemorate the 91st anniversary of the genocide. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is scheduled to appear at Sunday’s event, although his office had not confirmed the appearance as of Wednesday, event organizers said. Although 24 countries officially recognize the killings as genocide, other countries have not – including the United States. The dispute continues as groups on both sides of the issue lobby for and against various bills that have passed through Congress aimed at formally recognizing the genocide. Although most Western scholars agree with the genocide label, Turkish officials still stand by the idea that the deaths were the result of ethnic strife, famine and disease during World War I, but not genocide. “This is about educating the young Armenians about how they got there and about their history,” said Montebello Mayor Bob Bagwell. “They want them to know that if they don’t recognize genocide, it will continue to happen. “\ fought long and hard to build a new community, and they came to the United States and almost starved to death. If you don’t educate kids about their history, you’ll have something like you see here sometimes where kids don’t know who the first president was.” Montebello resident Denise Hagopian plans to attend the memorials, saying putting the spotlight on the issue is the only way to prevent a repeat of history. “I discussed it with my son, why it’s important to not forget,” Hagopian said. “The government got away with it. Genocides happen a lot because we don’t document it. That’s why each person is responsible to speak out when they see something wrong. It wouldn’t be able to happen if someone speaks out.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! read more