California Moves To Dismantle Nation’s Largest Death Row

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who three years ago placed a moratorium on executions, now is moving to dismantle the United States’ largest death row by moving all condemned inmates to other prisons within two years.

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The goal is to turn the section at San Quentin State Prison into a “positive, healing environment.” Newsom said Monday it’s an outgrowth of his opposition to what he believes is a deeply flawed system, one that “gets my blood boiling.”

“The prospect of your ending up on death row has more to do with your wealth and race than it does your guilt or innocence,” he said. “We talk about justice, we preach justice, but as a nation, we don’t practice it on death row.”

California, which last carried out an execution in 2006, is one of 28 states that maintain death rows, along with the U.S. government, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. While other states like Illinois have abolished executions, California is merging its condemned inmates into the general prison population with no expectation that any will face execution anytime in the near future.

“We are starting the process of closing death row to repurpose and transform the current housing units into something innovative and anchored in rehabilitation,” California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Vicky Waters told The Associated Press.

Oregon similarly transferred its much smaller condemned population to other inmate housing two years ago.

Newsom, a Democrat, imposed a moratorium on executions in 2019 and shut down the state’s execution chamber at San Quentin, north of San Francisco. Now his administration is turning on its head a 2016 voter-approved initiative intended to expedite executions by capitalizing on one provision that allowed inmates to be moved off death row.

Click here to read the full article at AP News


  1. Pompous git.

  2. No Stephanie, POMPOUS A$$HOLE! Now he will dump KILLERS back on our streets while he uses tax payer dollars for his own security.

  3. John the Patriot says

    Governor Climate Change is lying when he says “your prospect of ending up on death row has more to do with your race or wealth”. According to the Death Penalty Information Center (hardly a right wing website) since 1976 the executions in the U.S. are as follows:
    Black – 527 – 34%
    Latinx – 129 -8%
    White – 857 – 56%
    Other – 27 – 2%
    The left always says Capital punishment mostly applies to people of color but they never give statistics and will not confront statistics. Here they are if you doubt them look them up.

  4. Well, death row is a misnomer anyway. Moving these people to the “regular” prison section is more a bookkeeping exercise. Starting to run a “redemption” center is nothing but a road to release. Most of those sent to prison have done many crimes to reach that level. Now the prison is becoming the responsibility of the people of the state that sent them there based on current law in the first place. Do any of you see this as taking the rights of the people away – i.e. controlled by government, not the people? Is that part of our Constitution? Where does it stop?

  5. These FKA “death row” inmates will make great candidates for brainwashing and doing the bidding of the California Mafia branch of the NWO…set fires, kill people at random to promulgate the evils of gun ownership, kill people who are problems to the NWO, move in to demonstrations and stir up violence, etc

  6. “We talk about justice, we preach justice, but as a nation, we don’t practice it on death row.” That’s right there is no justice for the victims or their families. Practicing justice on death row would best be done of carrying out the original sentence.

  7. Many comments! So how do we stop this?

  8. The elephant in San Quentin’s room is that the prison is perched on one of the most spectacularly scenic pieces of land in California, and developers are gnashing their teeth to get in on the development if that eyesore is gone. I strongly suspect that Newsom or his family or relatives a la Pelosi have their fingers in that pie. Q has been more powerful in its harsh reputation among the criminal element than for punishment, as I doubt California will ever execute another person even if they were to detonate a nuke over Los Angeles–someone would be wringing their hands saying “oh that poor person had a bad childhood.”

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