Opinion

Gavin Newsom’s Death Penalty Moratorium

Californians have become outraged with the news that surfaced last week. Gavin Newsom has placed a moratorium, or a temporary ban, on the death penalty. Voters of California and across the country have been showing their anger towards Newsom’s decision.

It is understandable why Americans are so frustrated. Back in 2016, California voters had voted “NO” on Prop 62, to abolish the death penalty, and “YES” on Prop 66, to speed up the death penalty.  Going against the California voters was a brave stance for Newsom to take, but a stupid one at that. He has outraged the majority of voters who don’t want to see people such as Scott Peterson, the murderer of his wife who was eight months pregnant, walk off of death row.

It is not just the voters who have been upset with Gavin Newsom’s choice to ban the death penalty temporarily. Family members of murder victims, rape victims, etcetera, are having to watch their offenders walk away from death row.

Richard Mobilio, the father of David Mobilio, his 31-year-old son, who was gunned down in an ambush in 2002, has been waiting for David’s killer’s execution since 2005. David had served as a Red Bluff police officer and was on the job when Andrew Mickel brutally murdered him in the ambush. “I’m very disappointed,” Mobilio tells the Sacramento Bee. People such as Mobilio have waited so long to see the people who have hurt them pay the price. “We’re not forgivers and forgetters in this regard… I hate to be so obviously a case of ‘vengeance is mine,’ but I have to be honest with you  … I want to see him pay the penalty,” Mobilio said. Many more families have been feeling the same regarding the situation. Mobilio says one day he hopes to see Mickle pay for his actions, even if it means waiting for a new governor.

Marc Klaas shared his similar opinion to Mobilio’s. “Obviously, I’m appalled… I’m appalled by him doing that, and I’ve got plenty of reasons,” he told multiple media sources. In 1993, Klaas’ daughter, Polly, was kidnapped from her home in Petaluma and murdered when she was only 12-years-old. People such as Klaas and Mobilio have every right to be furious with Newsom. Newsom went into a news conference last Wednesday where he explained that all executions have been suspended and that the San Quentin death chamber was being taken apart as the news conference was happening. Following his news conference, Newsom tweeted pictures of the death chamber at San Quentin being deconstructed, with the caption: “12:45 pm: The death chamber at San Quentin. Closed.” (BBC).

Californians and Americans in general, have been showing their outrage through social media. After Governor Newsom made the announcement, President Trump responded to the news saying, “Defying voters, the Governor of California will halt all death penalty executions of 737 stone cold killers. Friends and families of the always forgotten VICTIMS are not thrilled, and neither am I!”(BBC). The majority of Californians are feeling the same way as of right now. Whether they agree with abolishing the death penalty or not, some are upset at the fact that Newsom went against voters. This makes voters feel as though their vote means nothing and that the government can do whatever they want no matter what the polls say — making California feel as though they have a dictator in charge.

Will Gavin Newsom do anything to change the moratorium due to the outrage of voters across not only California but the whole country? Will he make an effort to help victims families instead of helping the offenders? What will happen to the 737 criminals who just got their lives back? All of this to come with the upcoming news following this story.