Families of Murder Victims Hold Mixed Reactions to Gov. Newsom’s Moratorium on Executions

Cindy Rael, whose daughter was killed in 2011, was shocked and angry when she learned of Gov. Newsom's decision on March 13, 2019, to halt California executions. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Cindy Rael, whose daughter was killed in 2011, was shocked and angry when she learned of Gov. Newsom's decision on March 13, 2019, to halt California executions. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Cindy Rael was home Wednesday morning watching television when the news turned personal — Gov. Gavin Newsom was halting executions in California, including for the man who killed her daughter Brandi eight years ago, shooting her and lighting her body on fire in front of her children.

“I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I was shocked and angry,” said Rael. “I have to live with this every day of my life…. There is one question I would like to ask the governor: What if it was his daughter who was brutally murdered?”

Five hundred miles north, another mother, Aba Gayle, had made the trip to Sacramento from northern Oregon to meet with the governor. She said she felt grateful for his decision.

“What I say is, ‘Don’t murder someone in my name,’ it does nothing to benefit my daughter, it won’t bring anybody back,” said Gayle. After years of living in rage and pain, she befriended the death row inmate who killed 19-year-old Catherine Blount in September 1980 at a home north of Auburn.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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