The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) today applauded California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signing of an executive order to put a moratorium on the death penalty in the state.

READ: California governor signs executive order stopping state’s death penalty for now (CNN)

“We applaud Governor Newsom’s leadership on declaring a moratorium on executions in California,” said CAIR-CA Legislative & Government Affairs Coordinator Yannina Casillas. “The Governor’s stance signifies the need to address the unfair death penalty system in our state that disproportionately impacts people of color and low-income communities. CAIR-California believes that people should be treated equally under the law regardless of their background. We stand with Governor Newsom and will work to continue the fight to address the broken system and help push California to lead critical criminal justice reform.”

[NOTE: CAIR has in the past called for a state and national moratorium on the death penalty because “studies have clearly demonstrated that poor and minority defendants are more likely to be sentenced to death than members of the majority society who have adequate access to legal representation.” SEE:]

There are currently 737 people on death row in California and the state’s lethal injection procedure is under judicial review.

A study published in 2014 by the National Academy of Sciences reports that at least 4.1 percent of defendants sentenced to death in the United States are innocent.

READ: Rate of false conviction of criminal defendants who are sentenced to death