Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Gavin Newsom and capital punishment

Gavin Newsom in the NY Times:

And Mr. Newsom, an opponent of the death penalty, said he had not decided what to do if he is forced to preside over the first execution in more than a decade in a state that has more inmates on death row — over 700 — than any other. In 2016, California passed a proposition forcing the state to resume executions, although there are legal challenges outstanding.

Would Mr. Newsom sign a death warrant? “I’m not prepared to answer the question,” he said, clearly struggling with the issue. “Because I’m not prepared to answer the question. But I am preparing myself to answer the question. And in that preparation comes a lot of soul searching.”

Bullshit. Don't hold your breath waiting for Newsom to answer that question. That won't happen as long as he has a chance to become president.

We have a terminally dysfunctional capital punishment system. There are now 744 people on death row, and California has spent $4 billion over the years maintaining the system.

Later: On second thought, instead of the above dithering, Governor Newsom could take this line on the issue when he refuses to sign his first death warrant: 
"We have a dysfunctional, costly capital punishment system that makes it difficult to impossible to execute anyone sentenced to death in California. Let's stop this charade. I'll do my part by refusing to sign any death warrants. As governor I have a duty to lead on important public policy issues, which is what I'm going to do on capital punishment. I hope---and expect---that the people of California will follow my lead."

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