Gov. Newsom criticized over death penalty moratorium by victims' parents

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KABC) -- A coalition of state district attorneys and families of murder victims spoke out against the death penalty moratorium imposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom Thursday in Sacramento.

Steve Herr, with his wife Raquel by his side, criticized Newsom's recent moratorium on the death penalty.

Herr's son Sam and his friend Julie Kibuishi were murdered in 2010 in Orange County. Daniel Wozniak was convicted of killing them and stealing Sam's money to pay for his wedding.

After 8 1/2 years of court hearings, Herr says they received some comfort after Wozniak was finally sentenced to death, until they heard about the governor's moratorium on the executions of the 737 inmates, including Wozniak.

"He reopened old wounds and he created new ones, as well, all for his feelings," Herr said. "That's not right and that's not justice."

The Herr's joined a group of crime victims and a number of district attorneys from across the state at a press conference to ask the governor to rescind his executive order.

"Gov. Newsom took a knife and stabbed it into the heart of all these crime victims standing here today," said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.

California voters previously rejected an initiative to abolish capital punishment. In 2016, they voted in favor of a proposition to help speed up executions.

Newsom says the death penalty is immoral and costly to taxpayers.

Spitzer is asking the governor to meet with each victim and understand their cases.
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