|California announces moratorium on death penalty, halting more than 700 executions|
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a moratorium on the death penalty Wednesday, halting more than 700 executions in the state.
The executive order grants a reprieve to 737 inmates on the country's largest death row and halts the use of the death penalty in the state, according to the governor's office.
"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 in prepared remarks on Wednesday. "In short, the death penalty is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian."
The move is especially controversial considering that California voters rejected a ballot measure that would have repealed the death penalty in 2016.
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