Kamala Harris praises California governor: Halting death penalty 'an important day for justice'

Kamala Harris praises California governor: Halting death penalty 'an important day for justice'
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Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJaime Harrison seeks to convince Democrats he can take down Lindsey Graham Senators push foreign media to disclose if they are registered as foreign agents Warnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday praised California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) for his expected executive order to halt the death penalty in the state.

Harris, who is running for president in 2020, said in a statement that Newsom’s decision was “an important day for justice and for the state of California.”

“As a career law enforcement official, I have opposed the death penalty because it is immoral, discriminatory, ineffective, and a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars,” Harris said. “The symbol of our justice system is a woman with a blindfold. It is supposed to treat all equally, but the application of the death penalty - a final and irreversible punishment - has been proven to be unequally applied.”

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Harris, a longtime prosecutor, noted that the death penalty disproportionately affects black, Latino and poor defendants.

"Your race or your bank account shouldn't determine your sentence,” she said.

She also cited the death penalty's high cost, and said that it has been “imposed as a final punishment to many who were later found to be innocent.”

“It's time to turn the page on this chapter and end a deeply flawed system of capital punishment in California,” she said.

It was reported Tuesday night that Newsom plans to issue an executive order suspending the death penalty in California, saying the practice is "inconsistent with our bedrock values.” Though he cannot change the law, Newsom’s order would remove over 700 inmates from death row. The move comes just over two years after California voters rejected a measure to abolish the death penalty.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE voiced opposition to Newsom’s plan earlier Wednesday.

"Defying voters, the Governor of California will halt all death penalty executions of 737 stone cold killers," the president tweeted. "Friends and families of the always forgotten VICTIMS are not thrilled, and neither am I!"