San Quentin

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Death Row Inmate Says He's Innocent, and Winfrey Agrees

Court's decision on Jarvis Jay Masters' appeal is expected any day

(Newser) - This isn't the first time Jarvis Jay Masters has been forced to wait while a judge decides his fate. According to Kevin Rector of the Los Angeles Times , Masters has launched several unsuccessful appeals to overturn his conviction and death sentence for the 1985 murder of corrections officer Hal...

California to Shut Down Largest Death Row in US

Newsom administration plans to transfer inmates from San Quentin to other prisons

(Newser) - California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who three years ago placed a moratorium on executions, now is moving to dismantle the US' largest death row by moving all condemned inmates to other prisons within two years. Turning the section at San Quentin State Prison into a "positive, healing environment" is the...

Death Row Inmates Scam State Pandemic Benefits

They were among thousands of prisoners illegally receiving California benefits

(Newser) - Authorities in California say they've uncovered the "most significant fraud on taxpayer funds" in state history—and most of the perpetrators are already behind bars. Nine district attorneys and a federal prosecutor said Tuesday that tens of thousands of prisoners, including many on death row, had scammed the...

Court: San Quentin Prison Population Must Be Halved

Prison had one of nation's worst COVID outbreaks

(Newser) - A California appeals court has ordered state corrections officials to cut the population of one of the world's most famous prisons to less than half of its designed capacity, citing officials' "deliberate indifference" to the plight of inmates during the coronavirus pandemic. State officials said Wednesday that they...

At One California Prison, a 'Devastating' COVID Outbreak

Nearly a third of the inmates at San Quentin State Prison have contracted the virus

(Newser) - One California correctional facility currently accounts for nearly half of the state's 2,000-plus prison cases of COVID-19, a fact that Gov. Gavin Newsom is now calling a "deep area of focus and concern." Citing data from the state's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation , USA Today...

Serial Killer Kills Himself After 3rd Death Sentence

He was one of 2 killers found dead at San Quentin

(Newser) - Death was apparently preferable to life on California's Death Row for serial killer Andrew Urdiales. The 54-year-old inmate was found dead in his cell at San Quentin State Prison on Friday night and authorities believe he killed himself, News 10 reports. Urdiales was sentenced to death by an Orange...

Here's What Scott Peterson Looks Like Now

Convicted killer hasn't changed much since 2011

(Newser) - Scott Peterson looks to be aging well on death row at California's San Quentin prison. In a new mugshot, the man convicted of killing his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, and her unborn son on Christmas Eve 2002, looks much the same as in his last mugshot , taken in 2011,...

Death Row Inmates Are Somehow Dying From Drug ODs

Calif. prisoners found dead with meth, heroin in their systems

(Newser) - California hasn't executed anybody for more than a decade, but some Death Row inmates are still being killed by lethal drugs. Records from the coroner's office reveal that between 2010 and 2015, at least six condemned San Quentin inmates died with methamphetamine, heroin, or other drugs in their...

Death Row Inmate Dies, but Not via Execution

California has only executed 13 out of hundreds of death row inmates since 1978

(Newser) - Ronald Seaton had been on death row at San Quentin State Prison for 26 years following a 1986 conviction for murder, robbery, and burglary. On Friday, he died of natural causes while awaiting execution, NBC Bay Area reports. Seaton became the 69th death row inmate to die of natural causes...

Legionnaires' Sweeps Through San Quentin

6 inmates sick; dozens being monitored

(Newser) - At least six San Quentin State Prison inmates were ill with Legionnaires' disease and dozens more under observation yesterday, prompting a weekend halt to visitors, no hot meals, and limited drinking water supplies at California's oldest prison. At least 51 inmates are under observation for respiratory illness at the...

Killing of 'San Quentin 6' Member Sparks Prison Riot

Hugo Pinell 'was definitely the target,' says a corrections spokeswoman

(Newser) - An inmate involved in a bloody 1971 San Quentin escape attempt that left six dead has been killed by a fellow prisoner, corrections officials say. The slaying of Hugo Pinell, 71, triggered a riot today that grew to involve about 70 inmates at a maximum security prison east of Sacramento,...

No More Room on San Quentin's Death Row

It's essentially full, governor warns

(Newser) - California Gov. Jerry Brown has submitted his $113 billion budget proposal, and in it he notes that, on average, 20 new felons are expected to show up per year on death row in San Quentin State Prison, the Los Angeles Times reports. One problem: There's no more room. With...

'Zebra Killer' Who Terrorized San Fran Dies in Prison

JCX Simon and 3 others killed 14 random white victims in 1970s

(Newser) - A man who went on a murder rampage against white people in San Francisco 40 years ago has died at San Quentin. NBC News reports that JCX Simon, 69, one of four notorious "Zebra killers," was found unresponsive in his cell. An autopsy is pending. Simon and three...

Shots Fired to Quell San Quentin Riot

Dozens injured as new arrivals brawl

(Newser) - Guards used pepper spray, rubber projectiles, and live ammunition to quell a huge riot at California's San Quentin prison yesterday. Prison authorities say between 150 and 200 inmates were involved in the riot in an exercise yard used by new arrivals, the Los Angeles Times reports. Dozens were slashed...

Riot Breaks Out at San Quentin

4 hospitalized with stab wounds; cause unknown

(Newser) - Some 200 inmates rioted at San Quentin prison last night, leaving at least four hospitalized with stab and slash wounds. Others suffered minor injuries. Guards, who fired non-lethal bullets and pepper spray to halt the violence, found at least 10 inmate-made weapons afterward. The cause of the fight, which occurred...

California Holds Off on Executions for 6th Year

San Quentin warden asks for time to replace execution team

(Newser) - Officials in California have given up on efforts to resume executing convicts this year, meaning that the state will have gone at least 6 years without executions. A review of lethal injection procedures has been delayed until at least January because the new warden of San Quentin prison wants to...

San Quentin Inmates Rescue Boaters
San Quentin Inmates
Rescue Boaters

San Quentin Inmates Rescue Boaters

Prison firefighters pull couple from San Francisco Bay

(Newser) - If he were alive today, Johnny Cash might be surprised to learn that San Quentin did some good. Inmates from the California prison's fire department rescued a man and woman whose boat capsized in the frigid waters of San Francisco Bay, reports CNN . The woman, who was wearing a...

DUI Child Killer Murdered in San Quentin

Edward Schaefer killed 10 days into 24-year sentence

(Newser) - A man convicted of murder for killing a 9-year-old girl while driving drunk was murdered in San Quentin prison just 10 days into a 24-year sentence. Investigators believe Edward Schaefer, 44, was stabbed to death with a homemade knife by inmate Frank Souza in the prison's reception yard, the San ...

San Quentin: Yes, It's on Yelp
 San Quentin: Yes, It's on Yelp 

San Quentin: Yes, It's on Yelp

Many reviews from tourists' ex-cons hate the food

(Newser) - Perhaps he was doing research into convicts and social media , but whatever the reason he was looking, MG Siegler is surprised to find California’s forbidding San Quentin state prison on Yelp (FourSquare, too). And though many of the 19 reviews are dedicated to tours and other open-to-the-public features, there...

Cash-Strapped Calif. Considers Selling San Quentin

(Newser) - Some state lawmakers have proposed a novel solution for California's budget problems: sell San Quentin Prison, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Experts estimate the 435-acre site, picturesquely situated on a peninsula overlooking San Francisco Bay, could go for more than $2 billion. About half of that would go toward building...

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