Monday, October 26, 2020

Gov Newsom files amicus brief

Governor Newsom Files Historic Amicus Brief in Death Penalty Case, Arguing for Greater Protections Against Racial Bias in Jury Proceedings
Builds on Governor’s actions to end the death penalty in California and address systemic racism in the criminal justice system

Governor Gavin Newsom today filed an amicus brief in People v. McDaniel, a case before the California Supreme Court that involves issues of racial bias in jury deliberation and sentencing decisions. This filing marks the first time in California history that a sitting governor has filed an amicus brief calling attention to the unfair and uneven application of the death penalty, noting the state’s bedrock responsibility to ensure equal justice under the law applies to all people no matter their race. The brief argues that capital cases should require unanimity in the jury’s penalty verdict and proof beyond a reasonable doubt of disputed aggravating evidence.

A copy of the amicus brief can be found here.

[10/27 DJ story is Newsom is 1st Governor to file amicus brief in capital appeal -- "For the first time in state history a sitting governor has argued in court filings that the death penalty is unfair and unevenly applied to people of color. ... Newsom's brief was filed by Elisabeth Semel, director of the Death Penalty Clinic at UC Berkeley, and Berkeley School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky."]