Bridgett: Death Sentence Repeal Sends The Wrong Message

Shasta County’s District Attorney has expressed her disappointment in the Governor’s decision to suspend the death penalty. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday granting a reprieve to the state’s 737 death row inmates for as long as the Democrat is Governor. It doesn’t change any convictions or sentences and won’t allow anyone to be released from prison. Newsom says his views on the death penalty were shaped 40 years ago through his grandfather’s and father’s advocacy on behalf of a wrongfully convicted man. His order also repeals California’s lethal injection protocols and closes the state’s never-before-used death chamber at a state prison. President Donald Trump says Newsom is “defying voters.” California voters narrowly approved a ballot measure to speed up executions in 2016. Shasta County D.A. Stephanie Bridgett says “Voters in California and Shasta County have demonstrated that they support the death penalty for those murderers who are the worst of the worst. The Governor’s action sends the wrong message to the people of California as well as surviving victims of these offenders.” The last person executed in California was Clarence Ray Allen in 2006, for arranging the murders of three people while behind bars. The last Shasta County killer executed was Darrel Rich in 2000. He attacked nine women in the summer of 1978, raping 8 of them and killing 4, including an 11-year-old girl. Eight other murderers from Shasta County who were sentenced to die remain on death row. In 2015 Paul Smith’s death sentence for the 1998 torture-murder of 20-year-old Lora Sinner was overturned because the jury wasn’t told that San Quentin Prison is more secure than the Shasta County Jail, where Smith tried to kill a correctional officer. The D.A.’s Office said the case would take up to Two Million Dollars and 3 or 4 years to retry, so they allowed the revised sentence of life in prison without parole.

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