Will Gov. Brown reduce death row sentences before leaving office?

posted by Arianna Marie - 

In a Fox News report, author Elizabeth Llorente touches on the idea that Governor Jerry Brown could commute many, if not all, of the death row sentences for inmates in California. 

With 744 inmates currently on death row, California holds the spot for the largest death row population in the country. However, only 13 have been executed since capital punishment was reintroduced to the state in 1978. The last inmate to be executed on death row was in 2006. 

California's Supreme Court issued an administrative order on March 28, making it possible for Gov. Brown to commute the death row sentences or grant clemency. The most notorious inmates currently on death row are charged with horrific murders and sexual assaults.

A spokesperson for Brown told Fox News, “A request for commutation is a serious matter, and every applicant is carefully and diligently vetted. The Governor issued commutations earlier this month… California inmates can petition to have their sentence reduced or eliminated by applying for a commutation of sentence. To be clear, no individuals on death row have received commutations.”

More than half of California’s residents have expressed support for the death penalty.

An attorney who argued for Prop. 66-a measure to speed up executions, Kent Scheidegger, told Fox News that anything is possible as far as Brown and California politics, but he believed the governor would not commute death sentences.

“It’s important because there are some crimes for which anything less is simply not justice," Scheidegger said. 

Read the full report at Fox News here

Scheidegger, who is also the Legal Director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, talked to John and Ken Tuesday about the potential mistakes Brown could be making. Listen to the interview below.

Photo: Getty Images

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