California Governor: 5 billion tax dollars spent on death penalty

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FILE – This Sept. 21, 2010, file photo shows the interior of the lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign a moratorium on the death penalty in California Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

SACRAMENTO (CNN) – Hundreds of inmates on California’s death row are getting a reprieve.

On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a moratorium on executions across the state.

That means the more than 700 inmates on the nation’s largest death row will have their death sentences put on hold.

Even without the moratorium, California has not executed any inmate since 2006.

“We have 737 people on death row today,” Newsom said. “120 people died, either suicide or natural causes, including someone last week. Just 13 have been executed. You as tax payers, you have spent 5-billion dollars. 5-billion dollars since we reinstated the death penalty in this state. What have we gotten for that?”

The executive order signed also calls for withdrawing California’s lethal injection protocols and immediately closing the execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison.

The order does not provide for the release of any inmate or alter any current conviction or sentence.

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