Former governors of Ohio, Oregon, Maryland, New Mexico, and Illinois write in today’s New York Times, “we halted executions in our states, and we call on Gov. Jerry Brown of California to do the same” and to not “leave behind 740 men and women on California’s death row” when his term ends in 25 days.

The former governors don’t mention the unusual provision in California’s Constitution that prevents a governor from commuting any sentence of a twice-convicted felon without a recommendation of a majority of the Supreme Court.  Assuming that a substantial number of condemned prisoners are twice-convicted felons and knowing that the Governor has yet to ask the court for a clemency recommendation for even one death row inmate, it seems very unlikely that Brown could empty California’s death row at this late date, as we’ve mentioned before.  (Here and here.)