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Roundtable: California’s Death Penalty Moratorium

Matthew Hall, editorial and opinion director, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Michael Smolens, columnist, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Erik Anderson, environment reporter, KPBS News

Sara Libby, managing editor, Voice of San Diego

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Death penalty suspended

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a sweeping order Wednesday to suspend California’s death penalty. The order grants executions reprieves to more than 700 condemned inmates on death row. The governor’s office said the action will suspend executions as long as Newsom is governor. Newsom said he is also considering commuting death sentences. He also plans on pushing to repeal capital punishment either through the courts or at the ballot box.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom Halts Executions; Opponents Call Move an Abuse of Power

College admissions scandal

The fallout continues from the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice. Students fought back in court against campuses caught in the bribery scandal, claiming they were denied a fair shot at admission. The federal investigation covers schools around the nation including the University of San Diego.

RELATED: Feds Charge Dozens In Widespread US College Admissions Scam

Salton Sea challenges

Visitors who have flocked to the Salton Sea for years have witnessed a changing ecosystem. As the lake changes, so does the local bird populations. Plus, state efforts to manage the retreating waters also remains largely unfunded. And one key habitat restoration project is behind schedule.

RELATED: Project Takes Aim At Controlling Salton Sea Dust

Public records debate

State Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) pulled back a proposal to change the way people accessed public records Tuesday, following push back from news organizations and other elected officials. San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott sponsored the bill. Critics said the measure introduced changes and standards that would have made it more difficult to access public records.

RELATED: State Sen. Hueso Says Public Records Bill Intended To Reduce Frivolous Lawsuits

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