Julie Watts investigating

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As the fallout continues after Governor Gavin Newsom decided to halt the death penalty, the reasons behind the decision are coming to light.

One of those reasons is the innocent people on death row. Most people argue that even one wrongful death row conviction is too many, but there have been at least five people have been exonerated in California since the 1980s.

The most recent exoneration was last year. In all cases, their time on death row has ranged from five to 25 years, and all are minorities.

Newsom argued Wednesday that the death penalty is applied disproportionality to people of color and that many are likely innocent.

“There was a National Science Academy Report that estimated one in every 25 people on death row is innocent. If that’s the case, that means if we move forward executing 737 people in California. We will have executed more than 30 people that are innocent,” Newsom said.

READFamilies Of Murder Victims Furious At Governor’s Decision To Halt Death Penalty

The author of the report said they looked at all death penalty sentences between 1973 and 2004 and found 4.1 percent of all death row inmates would be exonerated if they remained on death row indefinitely.

However, he noted that in reality, many defendants are removed from death row and re-sentenced to life in prison, where the appeal process stalls.

So, even if the inmates are innocent, they are never fully exonerated. The actual rate of exoneration is 1.6 percent.

ALSOHow Much Does A Death Row Inmate Cost?

Courts have not exonerated anyone posthumously recently either because they do not consider claims of innocence after a defendant is dead. Instead, defense attorneys move on to clients whose lives can still be saved.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, there are as many as 15 cases nationwide with strong evidence that the person executed may have actually been innocent.

While Californians voted to keep the death penalty and speed up executions, lawmakers at the capitol now want to decide.

Assemblymember Marc Levine introduced an amendment Thursday to ban the death penalty. The amendment requires a two-thirds vote to pass.

  1. radarman67 says:

    It cost the State $220 per inmate to feed, house, cloth, medical if the inmate doesn’t pay for it himself. I was thrown in Prison under Accusations of False Rape by my X-wife because she was threatened by the DA and the Detective if she didn’t do it. They knew she was a Drug user and had Mental problems but that didn’t stop them from making a case that didn’t fly. I was Homeless on the streets in Oakland and Berkeley at the time left home in Sept. and didn’t return. It’s called FALSE accusations of Rape and the Detective knew I wasn’t in town but he was coming over to her apartment at night and I have proof, but he treated the person who saw him there. I have a written log of my everyday movements when I was on the streets.
    The reason I was is because I got tired of being arrested for NOT beating her up which I would never do but her New Boyfriend did, his name is Ben he worked at the drive-in on 1st street thanks to my mother taking notes from my son.
    So went to Prison for 2 years for crime that wasn’t committed by me but by her boyfriend the police never knew about. I’m getting all the information together so I can clear my name and SUE the County and the DA ,Public Defender in the case.
    I’ve never committed a crime as serious as that I respect women and have all my life, any man that does that around me will pay the price. I don’t support the Death Penalty because there are innocent people in Prison and on Death row but Not Scot Peterson, and the one who killed Polly Class.

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