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California governor places moratorium on executions

Posted at 8:13 PM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 23:13:06-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The 737 inmates on California's largest-in-the-nation death row are getting a reprieve.

Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to sign an executive order Wednesday placing a moratorium on executions.

He's also withdrawing the lethal injection regulations that death penalty opponents already have tied up in court. And he's shuttering the execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison that has never been used since it was modernized following the last execution in 2006.

Newsom says the order won't alter any convictions or allow any condemned inmate a chance at an early release.

A prosecutor says Newsom is usurping voters' will.

California voters have supported the death penalty, most recently in 2016 when they narrowly voted to speed up the process. How to do that also has been tied up in litigation.