[3/26/19] – California Governor Imposes a Moratorium on the Death Penalty

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that placed a moratorium on the death penalty within the state on March 13, 2019. In addition to the moratorium, the executive order also called for the repeal of lethal injections protocols and a closure of the San Quentin execution chamber. Governor Newsom’s move has been praised by some as a progressives move towards fixing the inequality inherent in the criminal justice system. However, he has also received backlash from those who argue that he has gone against Californian voters, who in 2012 and 2016 rejected ballot measures to abolish the death penalty within the state.

Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for California Governor Imposes a Moratorium on the Death Penalty





  • Writing: What are some of the arguments for and against the death penalty?
  • Debate: Governor Gavin Newsom made the right decision in imposing the moratorium on the death penalty in the state of California.
  • Poll: Do you believe that the death penalty deters crime?
  • Short Answer: Does the death penalty constitute cruel and unusual punishment? Identify the constitutional amendment that protects against cruel and unusual punishment.

 Current Events Quiz                                                                                                            

1.Since 1973, the state of California has executed ______ people.

a. 7

b. 13

c. 21

d. 36

2. Which region in the United States puts the most people to death?

a. South

b. Midwest

c. Southwest

d. Northeast

3. According to information from the Death Penalty Information Center, the majority of the individuals that have been executed have been ______.

a. White

b. Black

c. Hispanic

d. Asian American


  1. California has the largest death row in the western hemisphere. (T/F)


  1. In 2012 and 2016, voters in the State of California advocated for the abolishment of the death penalty.  (T/F)


  1. Death sentences have increased since 1998. (T/F)


Featured Image: iStock.com/AVNphotolab

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