Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp joined three other California district attorneys to author an op-ed for CNN.
In the piece, they state their strong opposition to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s death penalty moratorium, saying it “is disheartening to victims and their families who have waited years for justice.”
There are 736 inmates on the nation’s largest death row at San Quentin State Prison.
“This autocratic decree was a disgraceful day for democracy.” — Fresno County DA Lisa Smittcamp
Newsom Rejects the Democratic Process
The four DAs write:
“Gov. Gavin Newsom’s blanket moratorium on California’s death penalty is a slap in the face to crime victims and their families who have waited years for justice. With the stroke of his pen last month, Newsom singlehandedly undermined our state’s democratic values and our criminal justice system,” write Smittcamp, Sacramento County DA Anne Marie Schubert, Riverside County DA Michael Hestrin, and Imperial County DA Gilbert Otero.
“Democracy embodies a government where the people hold the ruling power either directly or through elected representatives. In California, the people have exercised their power repeatedly in voting to keep the death penalty for the state’s most horrific killers.
“In fact, less than three years ago, California voters made this clear when they rejected an initiative, supported by Newsom, to abolish the death penalty and instead passed an initiative to ensure its fair and efficient implementation.”
Read Entire Op-Ed
The April 23 op-ed concludes:
“Newsom’s moratorium is disheartening to victims and their families who have waited years for justice — justice that judges, juries, and voters agreed was warranted for these horrific crimes. This autocratic decree was a disgraceful day for democracy.”
You can read the piece in its entirety at this link.