Newsom calls California’s death penalty process ‘infected by racism’

California
Gov. Gavin Newsom listens to a reporter's question during a news conference in Rancho Cordova on June 26, 2020. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

Gov. Gavin Newsom listens to a reporter’s question during a news conference in Rancho Cordova on June 26, 2020. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday threw his support behind the appeal of a man on death row convicted of murder arguing in an amicus brief that “racial discrimination infects the administration of California’s death penalty.”

The decision to intervene in the death row case follows a promise by Newsom during his first term as governor that no prisoner in the state would be executed while he is in office, a pledge made when he imposed a moratorium on the death penalty.

“Since its inception, the American death penalty has been disproportionately applied, first, to enslaved Africans and African Americans, and, later to free Black people,” Newsom said in a statement Monday. “With this filing, we make clear that all Californians deserve the same right to a jury trial that is fair, and that it is a matter of life and death.”

Newsom’s detailed objections to capital punishment were filed in an amicus brief to the California Supreme Court, which is hearing the appeal of Don’te LaMont McDaniel, who is Black. McDaniel and a codefendant were convicted in the 2004 killing of a rival gang member in Los Angeles and a woman who witnessed the attack.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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