Trump Slams Newsom Decision to End Executions in California

Donald Trump this morning tweeted his strong opposition to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plans to suspend the death penalty in the state.

“Defying voters, the Governor of California will halt all death penalty executions of 737 stone cold killers,”  Trump tweeted. “Friends and families of the always forgotten VICTIMS are not thrilled, and neither am I!”

The president chimed in amid numerous reports that Newsom will announce the suspension of the death penalty on Wednesday.

Newsom will cite the financial costs, the finality of the practice and its racial imbalance in announcing his decision.

In a statement released late yesterday he said:

“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.”

“The death penalty is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian.”

The governor will use an executive order to spare the state’s death row inmates from execution, but the individuals will remain incarcerated. The Washington Post reported that California’s 737 death row inmates make up roughly a quarter of the nation’s prisoners awaiting execution.

Newsom plans to order the closing of a death chamber at San Quentin State Prison and withdraw the state’s procedures for lethal injection executions, according to the newspaper.

The Post also reported that no executions are currently scheduled in California, and the state last carried one out in 2006.

Voters in California rejected a 2016 measure that would have abolished the death penalty in the state.

California will join Maryland, Connecticut, Illinois and Washington, among other states, in doing away with the death penalty.

Trump has in recent months feuded with Newsom over the state’s high-speed rail plan, use of national guard troops, and government aid for wildfire victims. Newsom took office in January and is now considered one of the national leaders of the Democratic Party.