Family members of Californians who were murdered by convicts sitting on death row are going on a tour of the state in an effort to convince Governor Gavin Newsom to change his mind about the recent moratorium he placed on executions.
The tour began on Thursday with parents sharing gruesome details about deaths their loved ones suffered at the hands of their killers.
On March 13 of this year Newsom issued an executive order halting all executions for the more than 700 people on California's death row for as long as he remains in office. He also ordered the dismantling of the death chamber at San Quentin State Prison. Voters in 2016 actually approved a ballot measure to speed up the death penalty process. Prior to his action it had been approximately 13 years since California last executed anyone. A proposal has been introduced to again put a measure to permanently stop the death penalty on the 2020 ballot.
Todd Spitzer is the Orange County District Attorney and appeared on the John McGinness Show Thursday. He said the tour is also intended to put pressure on state lawmaker by traveling to all 80 Assembly and 40 Senate districts. He said Newsom should consider each convicted murderer's case on an individual basis in determining who receives a reprieve.
There has been no comment from the Governor's office on the tour. He did say at the time of his moratorium announcement that he believes the death penalty is applied unevenly and the state risks killing innocent people.
Newsom was also criticized by those organizing the tour who said they think he should have spent time meeting with crime victims in California during National Crim Victims' Rights Week, which began on Monday, instead of traveling to El Salvador to investigate immigration issues.