Families of Murder Victims Experiencing Mixed Emotions

Many families across California took the hit extra hard Wednesday morning when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he was halting executions across the state.

Many inmates currently on death row were awaiting execution for the grisly murders they committed, and the lasting friends and family of the victims are speaking out on Newsom's moratorium as most feel justice will now never be served.

Cindy Rael, whose daughter was shot to death and lit on fire by an inmate on death row told the LA Times she was 'pissed off.' “This man brutally murdered my daughter and now he’s going to just get life in prison. I have to live with this every day of my life…. I am totally against [Newsom] doing away with it,” she said.

Other loved ones of murder victims supported Newsom.

“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 Aba Gayle who befriended the death row inmate who killed her 19-year-old daughter Catherine Blount in September 1980.

In 2016, voters narrowly rejected a measure that would have halted executions in the state and passed one meant to speed them up.

Another couple spoke to the LA Times about their troubles waiting three decades for the execution of Tiequon Cox. Wife of former NFL player Kermit Alexander, Tami Alexander said, “California just became a dictatorship today, it is not about the process, about democracy, the journey, a vote.”

Cox shot and killed her husband’s mother, sister and two nephews in South Los Angeles in 1984. Tami said her husband could not even begin to comprehend the governor's decision.

While emotions are mixed when it comes to the governor's move to halt executions, it is clear many families will not get the peace of mind they have been desperately waiting for.

Read the rest of the families' opinions here.

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