California’s process for imposing the death penalty “is now, and always has been, infected by racism,” Gov. Gavin Newsom declared Monday in a brief filed with the state Supreme Court.
Newsom filed the brief in the case of Donte Lamont McDaniel, who was sentenced to death in 2009 for the murder of 33-year-old George Brooks and 52-year-old Annette Anderson.
In California, juries can impose the death penalty if they find that “aggravating factors” outweigh “mitigating factors.” The decision to sentence someone to death must be unanimous. But juries don’t have to unanimously agree on each aggravating factor.