Gov. Newsom's executive order halting executions in California expected to generate political opposition

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The 737 inmates on California's death row are expected to get a reprieve Wednesday.

Governor Gavin Newsom's office tells the Associated Press that he will issue an executive order halting California executions at least while he's in office.

"He's not outlawing the death penalty, he's saying while I'm governor, for either four or eight years, I will not permit the state to execute anyone on death row," said ABC30 legal analyst and former U.S. Attorney, Tony Capozzi.

Capozzi believes it may be an act of no consequence because there hasn't been an execution since 2006.

The last execution in California was Clarence Ray Allen who organized the vicious killings of three people at Fran's Market in Fresno.

The death penalty has been on the ballot on more than one occasion.

Voters most recently supported the death penalty in 2016 when they voted to speed up the process.

"What will the district attorneys offices do? The pro-death penalty lobby? Will they file any kind of lawsuits and claim this is an abuse of power? Will they try to recall the governor because of this?"

The move will also withdraw the lethal injection regulations that death penalty opponents have already tied up in court, and shut down the execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison.

More than 70 condemned inmates have died while waiting on death row of natural causes, suicide or other causes.

"I can assure you the appeal process will still go on. it takes years and years for the appeals process to go on, but this will probably delay it even more,"

Currently on death row in San Quentin is the Fresno man responsible for what's known as the worst mass murder in city history.

Marcus Wesson was convicted in 2005 of killing nine of his children and grandchildren.

The governor will hold a press conference tomorrow at 10 a.m.
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