California's governor is expected to sign an executive order Wednesday to temporarily suspend the state's death penalty.
That moratorium would immediately grant a reprieve to the 737 inmates who are currently on California's death row. The Los Angeles Times says at least 24 of those inmates have already exhausted their appeals, so they could be scheduled to die while Gov.
Gavin Newsom's in office.
Under the moratorium, those on death row would remain in prison.
Newsom's office told NPR that the order will also close the execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison and will withdraw California's lethal injection protocol.
That protocol's been tied up in a series of legal challenges, so California hasn't executed a death row inmate since 2006 .
In his announcement Wednesday, multiple outlets report Newsom is expected to argue that the death penalty system is too expensive and that it discriminates against those who are mentally ill and people of color.
His order would expire when he leaves office.
Newsom doesn't have the authority as governor to abolish the state's death penalty.
That power lies with the voters, who most recently rejected a measure to ban capital punishment back in 2016.