Lackey seeks to extend commutation review period

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Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, introduced Assembly Bill 580, which aims to extend the review period before the governor makes a decision to approve or deny an application for commutation of a death sentence.

Lackey said in a news release Tuesday the bill would also give the families of victims an opportunity to speak about why an inmate should not be let off of death row and comes in response to Governor Newsom’s moratorium that will halt the death sentences of 737 death row inmates.

“These people who are on death row have committed over 1,000 atrocities, hundreds involving rape and tortuous behavior prior to the murder of their victims,” Lackey said in the release. “These people are monsters. Many of the inmates on death row have even orchestrated murder and crime from within their cells. The families are expecting some semblance of justice, and now Governor Newsom is taking a position against the will of the people.”

AB 580 extends the mandatory wait period for an inmate on death row from 10 days to 30 days and also affords victim’s families the opportunity to state their case one last time before one is removed from death row.

The bill also mandates that the Board of Parole Hearings provides a recommendation to the governor to either approve or deny a commutation. In an ideal situation, the release states, the board would take into account the testimony of the victim’s family, the inmate’s reason for sentencing, their behavior while serving time and the costs incurred by the state in either proposed path, according to the release.

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