San Quentin’s death row – where California’s most macabre and twisted killers were once caged – is being shuttered and converted into a ‘positive, healing environment.’
The prison is steeped in notoriety dating back to March 3, 1893, when the first of 215 prisoners was hanged from its gallows. It has since housed crazed, bloodthirsty serial killers including Charles Manson and William Bonin, who murdered at least 21 young men and boys.
It’s the place where Richard ‘Night Stalker’ Ramirez was marched through in shackles after he was convicted of raping, torturing and murdering at least 13 people in an unspeakable reign of terror that paralyzed Southern California with fear.
Those who’ve toured the building have described it as eerily quiet at times – so much so that it appeared devoid of prisoners, despite cells being filled with convicts who’ve committed unspeakable crimes.
The LA Times described the granite unit as ‘straight out of 1930, the year it was built.
‘The cavern is filled with sound: metal echoing off stone, the drone of large air circulation systems, and random shouts drifting down from above.’
Now, Governor Gavin Newsom is moving to dismantle San Quentin’s death row and transfer 670 condemned inmates – including wife-killer Scott Peterson – into the general prison population. Newsom placed a moratorium on executions in 2019.
‘We are starting the process of closing death row to repurpose and transform the current housing units into something innovative and anchored in rehabilitation,’ Corrections Department spokeswoman Vicky Waters told The Associated Press.
Death row has recorded countless natural deaths, drug overdoses, fatal prison riots and suicides among inmates awaiting execution in recent decades.
Ramirez – who once said he bided time behind bars watching televised sportscasts of female athletes – died of natural causes in 2013 while awaiting execution. He was 53.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Michelle Thompson