California prison abolishes death row

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San Quentin, California: The prison wants to abolish death row © Eric Risberg / picture alliance

According to the authorities, death row in San Quentin prison in California is to be abolished.

Sacramento – The “Death Row” prisoners would be transferred to other prisons in the West Coast state as part of a reform program, said California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a declared opponent of the death penalty, on Monday. The process has already started. There are currently nearly 700 death row inmates in California.

San Quentin, north of San Francisco, is the only prison in the state with an execution chamber. Since the death penalty was reinstated in the United States in 1978, 13 people have been executed in California. Executions have been on hold since 2006 after a federal judge ruled that lethal injections may be unconstitutional. In March 2019, Newsom suspended the death penalty by decree. Executions are immoral, the Democrat said on Monday. He also wants to campaign for reforms in other parts of the United States.

In a referendum in California in 2016, the majority of voters voted against abolishing the death penalty. However, due to the 2019 moratorium, those sentenced to the maximum sentence are currently spared the execution of the sentence. The transfer from death row is also intended to mean that the prisoners are now housed in institutions with work programs. In this way, they should contribute to compensation for relatives of their victims.

California has the highest number of inmates on death row of any US state, followed by Florida and Texas. According to the US Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), 23 of the 50 US states have abolished the death penalty. (dpa)

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