Capitol Alert

Newsom ends the death penalty + Reyes to replace Arambula as committee chair + Andrew McCabe’s FBI

The interior of the lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison. The California Supreme Court upheld a ballot measure narrowly approved by voters to change the state’s dysfunctional death penalty system and speed up executions. But critics of the ruling say it will only generate litigation, and not solve delays. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
The interior of the lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison. The California Supreme Court upheld a ballot measure narrowly approved by voters to change the state’s dysfunctional death penalty system and speed up executions. But critics of the ruling say it will only generate litigation, and not solve delays. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

Good morning, alerters! I’m still not convinced that having famous parents would have helped me get into an Ivy League, but hey. I turned out all right!

NEWSOM SUSPENDS EXECUTIONS

Gov. Gavin Newsom is scheduled to sign an executive order to place a moratorium on the death penalty this morning, reprieving the 737 California Death Row inmates of death by lethal injection.

The order will immediately close the San Quentin execution chamber, at least for the duration of Newsom’s administration.

The governor has indicated he’d make moves on capital punishment in California in recent weeks. In February Newsom ordered new DNA testing for a Death Row inmate sentenced for murder in 1983, and a week later told the New York Times that the death penalty was one of his major concerns.

“I do not believe that a civilized society can claim to be a leader in the world as long as its government continues to sanction the premeditated and discriminatory execution of its people,” Newsom’s prepared remarks read. “In short, the death penalty is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian.”

The state has the largest death row population in the country, with one of four prisoners awaiting execution in California alone. The state has not an executed an inmate since 2006, when Clarence Ray Allen of Fresno was put to death.

During his signing, Newsom is expected to address the racial disparity of inmates on Death Row, what he refers to as a $5 billion burden of the death penalty and how innocent prisoners can be wrongfully sentenced.

The intentional killing of another person is wrong. And as governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual,” Newsom is expected to say.

ARAMBULA OUT, REYES IN

As chair of the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, presided over a hearing on children’s health, development and safety on Monday.

By Tuesday, Arambula was charged with child abuse by the Fresno County District Attorney’s office.

Arambula was arrested after a December incident that he described as him spanking his daughter. Her elementary school reported the incident to the police. The assemblyman announced that he would take a voluntary leave of absence, leaving his chairmanship open.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, said that fellow Democratic Assemblywoman Eloise Reyes from Grand Terrace will serve as the interim chair.

“For those of us who know and respect Assemblymember Arambula, we know this has been a difficult experience for him and his family,” Rendon said in a written statement. “Due to the seriousness of the allegation and the need for due process, I respect his decision to take an unpaid leave from the Assembly while he addresses this charge.”

The assemblyman faces up to six months in prison if convicted.

THREAT LEVEL MIDNIGHT

If you’re a fan of The Office, you know that’s the name of Michael Scott’s screenplay.

But on a much more serious note, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is speaking today in San Francisco on his concerns over attacks against the intelligence department that he outlines in his newly released book The Threat.

President Donald Trump fired McCabe in March 2018, one day before his scheduled retirement following two decades of service in the bureau. McCabe said he was fired because he opened investigations against the president. He’s since become a vocal critic of Trump and, according to McCabe, the president’s crusade against the integrity and independence of the bureau.

“Right now the greatest threat to the United States comes from within, as President Trump and his administration ignore the law, attack democratic institutions, degrade human rights, and undermine the U.S. Constitution that protects every citizen,” a press statement for the event read.

Editor-in-Chief of the San Francisco Chronicle, Audrey Cooper, is also scheduled to speak with McCabe at noon today at The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium in San Francisco.

For your radar: The Capitol will be busy today! More than 6,000 charter school students, families and advocates are taking over the West Steps from 3 to 4 p.m. to rally support for the charter school movement. The California Charter Schools Association is hosting its 26th annual conference this week.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

March 13 — Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica

TWEET OF THE DAY

University of San Diego was snubbed a bit yesterday after news broke of a massive college admissions scam.

OR

I wonder if my mom’s lasagne would have worked...

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