WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that he is “not thrilled” over California Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to halt the death penalty in his state.
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
In a statement Tuesday, Newsom laid the groundwork for an executive order expected to be signed Wednesday.
“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.
Capital punishment has already been stalled in California since 2006 following a series of legal challenges, reducing any significant impact from Newsom’s order.
In 2016, California voters rejected Proposition 62, a ballot measure to ban the death penalty, and supported Proposition 66, which sped up the appeal process for death row inmates.
In-state critics of Newsom’s decision have pointed to the two votes.
“Governor Newsom … is usurping the express will of California voters and substituting his personal preferences via this hasty and ill-considered moratorium on the death penalty,” Michele Hanisee, President of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys in Los Angeles, said in a statement.
Death penalty opponents have praised the move.
Reprieve for the 737 people on California’s death row. https://t.co/vEMRwm7cCJ
— NCADP (@ncadp) March 13, 2019