Gov Gavin Newsom announced that he was doing away with the death penalty in California unilaterally after voters voted to keep it and the families of victim’s of murder protested. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won California by over 3.4 million votes, but the vote on the death penalty passed easily. There are currently 737 prisoners on death row in California.
The Los Angeles Times notes: “The action runs counter to the expressed will of California voters, who over the last six years rejected two statewide ballot measures to repeal the death penalty and favored fast-tracking the appeals process.”
California voters rejected a repeal of the death penalty as recently as 2016, in the same election where Hillary Clinton carried the state over Donald Trump by more than 3.4 million votes. Proposition 62 failed, 53.6% to 46.4%.
While Newsom’s gesture may impress an increasingly left-wing Democratic Party base, it is sure to be controversial on both sides of the aisle. Earlier this week, Jaime Osuna, a convicted murderer who was spared the death penalty for the gruesome torture and murder in 2011 of Yvette Pena, a mother of six — and who mocked her family in court — was suspected of murdering his cellmate, who was found dead over the weekend.
Newsom, a liberal Democrat who was elected in 2018, has long been an opponent of the death penalty, and is thought to be building a national political profile as he eyes a possible future presidential campaign.
Defying voters, the Governor of California will halt all death penalty executions of 737 stone cold killers. Friends and families of the always forgotten VICTIMS are not thrilled, and neither am I!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2019