UPDATED: 2019/03/22 12:00 PM
With an increasing focus on criminal justice system reform, California has taken a leadership role under to their new Governor, Gavin Newsom, in the stand against the death penalty. As of an executive order signed last week, California’s penal system now under a moratorium on all slated death penalties.
According to Newsom, his concerns over the death penalty stem from a variety of factors including issues on race and mental health, and the statistics that lend themselves that these demographics playing an unjust role in those who face corpral punishment. He continues with concerns over the real, documented issue of putting to death innocent people.
In America, the execution rate is higher than any other democracy in the world, and some studies suggest that the methods of execution may broach the border of cruel and unusual punishment. This is especially true in California, having the largest death row anywhere in the Western Hemisphere, with 737 people awaiting execution, and a nearly 60% skew toward African-American or Latino prisoners making up it’s numbers.
Another argument Newstrom makes against the death penalty is the cost to the tax payer. We Since 1978, the death penalty system has run up a bill of $5 billion. While arguements for this expense stem from a perspective that corpral punishment will act to deter future offenderds, a Death Penalty Information Center analysis of US murder data from 1987 through 2015 found no evidence that the death penalty deters murder or protects police.
According to Governor Newstom, it’s time to take action against an unjust and unequal justice system, and it appears he hopes that California will be a leader in a national movement.