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San Luis Obispo County DA criticizes Gov. Newsom for moratorium on executions

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Posted at 3:55 AM, Mar 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-13 06:58:07-04

San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow is criticizing Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to place a moratorium on executions.

On Tuesday, news broke that Governor Newsom was planning to sign an executive order that would give a reprieve to the 737 inmates on California’s death row. Newsom is also withdrawing lethal injection regulations.

Dow posted on Facebook Tuesday evening saying, “Governor Newsom is unilaterally refusing to enforce the will of the People of California. The death penalty is only reserved for the worst of the worst. San Luis Obispo County has three convicted murderers on death row: Michael Whisenhunt, Richard Benson, and Rex Krebs.”

Rex Krebs (Photo from San Quentin State Prison)


Dow went on to say that the death penalty is the “ultimate punishment for the ultimate crime” and that while it should be used in rare circumstances, it is appropriate in what he calls “crimes against humanity.”

Rex Krebs was found guilty of abducting, raping, and killing two women beginning in 1998. November marked 20 years since the first of the two killings. Cal Poly student Rachel Newhouse and Cuesta College student Aundria Crawford were killed.

Michael Whisenhunt was convicted for a 1995 murder. He was found guilty of killing his girlfriend’s infant daughter. The toddler suffered brutal internal injuries and serious burns before dying.

Richard Benson was sentenced to death for killing a Nipomo woman and her three children in 1986. During the trial, investigators say he repeatedly molested the woman’s two daughters before killing them.