When California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a moratorium on the death penalty
in his state yesterday, he put a hold on the executions of the biggest death row population in the U.S. 740 prisoners were sentenced to death but not yet executed in the state. According to data by the Death Penalty Information Center
, California is therefore far ahead of Florida (353 inmates) and Texas (232 inmates) concerning the size of its death row population.
Governors stopping executions is a common way to put a halt on executions in the U.S. Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf has halted executions. Oregon governor Kate Brown is upholding her predecessor’s moratorium and new Colorado governor Jared Polis said he’ll do the same. A moratorium by the governor already led to the abolition of the death penalty in Washington state in 2018. Other states have without formal moratoriums gone on long execution hiatuses, like Kansas, New Hampshire, Nevada and Wyoming. In Arizona, North Carolina, Kentucky and Montana courts and other institutions are currently grappling with the legality of death penalty.