Statement from DA Todd Spitzer on executive order signed by California governor placing moratorium on death penalty

California law supported by voters permits the District Attorney to seek death if the aggravating factors substantially outweigh the mitigating factors. Civilized society has spoken loud and clear about the pursuit of the death penalty for premeditated murderers whose crimes meet the criteria established by the penal code and weighed by legal experts, including input from the defense. Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to ignore the voices of California voters and place a moratorium on the death penalty betrays the very same electorate that bestowed trust in him when he was voted into office. Proposition 66 passed in 2016 because Californians want to see justice for the victims of the 737 condemned inmates on death row.

Orange County has 65 inmates on death row who were sentenced to 72 total death terms. Each inmate represents one or more victims whose lives were cut short by heinous and deliberate actions. In 2013 and 2014, Steven Gordon hunted four innocent women in concert with another registered sex offender then kidnapped, raped, murdered, and discarded their bodies like trash – three were never recovered, and the fourth was found after being placed in an Anaheim dumpster.

“Crimes that lead to the death penalty are not accidents, committed in the heat of the moment, or single mistakes made by a defendant. They are the result of uncivilized men and women who destroy families and create living nightmares in our communities,” stated District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Even after sentencing, victims’ loved ones spend the rest of their lives enduring appeals and hearings in addition to their loss. Justice is only served when the criminal justice system carries out appropriate punishments while following killers’ constitutional rights, which were never afforded to the murder victims.”

This article was released by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.