Mary Kate DeLucco


“The Death Penalty is Broken Beyond all Repair” Gov. Gavin Newsom Says; Announces Moratorium

March 13, 2019 (San Francisco) — Declaring that California’s “death penalty is broken beyond all repair,” Governor Gavin Newsom today took the historic step of declaring a moratorium on executions. By ensuring that no person is executed during his tenure, the governor has shown that he is a bold leader on criminal justice reform who is willing to tackle California’s broken death penalty system head on.

Newsom joins governors in Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Colorado who have instituted similar moratoriums, and in so doing, places the state where it belongs; at the forefront in the effort to repeal a barbaric punishment that has no place in an advanced, civilized society.

“For 30 years, Death Penalty Focus has been working to repeal this archaic system, and in Gov. Newsom we finally have the leader we’ve needed to say that with nearly 740 people on death row, the system is so clearly broken it’s time to start fixing the problem,” said DPF President Mike Farrell. “We appreciate the thought and care that went into this decision.”

While California has the largest death row in the country, with 737 men and women,

Californians have been steadily turning away from the death penalty for the last several decades. Support for the death penalty has been declining in the polls, and voters have twice (2012 and 2016) come close to abolishing the practice altogether. In addition, the number of death sentences handed down last year was the lowest the state has seen in 40 years, and there hasn’t been an execution since January 2006.

The death penalty costs California approximately $150 million dollars a year.


Founded in 1988, Death Penalty Focus is committed to the abolition of the death penalty through public education, grassroots organizing and political advocacy, media outreach, and domestic and international coalition building.

Together we can end the death penalty.

Join us today