California’s Death Row has just about run out of room

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This undated photograph courtesy of the California Department of Corrections shows the East Block of San Quentin Prison, referred to as Death Row because it houses condemned inmates, including Stanley…

deathrow2More than 750 inmates in California have been condemned to death.

But no one in this state has been executed in nearly a decade – and with new inmates arriving every month, Death Row has just about run out of space.

Gov. Jerry Brown is asking the Legislature for more than $3 million to open 100 new cells for condemned men at San Quentin Prison. The request is included in Brown’s $113 billion budget proposal.

The governor says prison officials should use cells that are opening up as lower level inmates are released under a new law passed by state voters last year. The majority of the money would go to increase staff, since condemned inmates require more security.

The capital punishment system has been in limbo since a court invalidated the state’s three-drug lethal injection system nearly a decade ago. No new protocols have been developed.anti-deathpenalty

Meanwhile, another judge has questioned the constitutionality of California’s capital punishment system. That judge ruled last year that the appeals process here takes so long that executions have become random.

In spite of those issues, California voters rejected a 2012 ballot measure to end the death penalty here.

There are currently 731 men and 20 women on Death Row in California. Almost all of the men are at San Quentin, while the women are housed at a prison in Chowchilla.