STATEMENT: Senate Leader Atkins Commends Governor Newsom for Death Penalty Moratorium

March 13, 2019

SACRAMENTO – California Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement by Governor Gavin Newsom to impose an indefinite moratorium on carrying out the death penalty:

“Personally, I commend Governor Newsom for having the courage and the conviction to take this important step.

“There is no evidence that the death penalty makes our communities safer. Research shows capital punishment is ineffective as a deterrent, and states where the death penalty has been abolished have not experienced an increase in homicide rates.

“While there is no way I can put myself in the shoes of every victim’s family, from my own personal story of losing my older brother to murder a decade ago, I wouldn’t – and couldn’t – support the death penalty even in that situation.

“This is an important first step in what will certainly be a long process but it is the right thing to do. I stand ready to work with the Governor to put an end to the death penalty in California, once and for all.”




Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins: