October 2, 2008 |
As the warden of San Quentin, I presided over four executions. After each one, someone on the staff would ask, "Is the world safer because of what we did tonight?" We knew the answer: No. I worked in corrections for 30 years, starting as a correctional officer and working my way up to warden at San Quentin and then on to the top job in the state -- director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
September 7, 2002
The killing of Tupac Shakur in 1996 followed years of conflict involving Shakur, rapper Notorious B.I.G., their record companies and their gang followers. November 1994 Shakur is shot five times and robbed in the lobby of a recording studio near Times Square in New York. He blames the ambush on Notorious B.I.G., whose real name is Christopher Wallace, and Sean "Puffy" Combs, right, head of Bad Boy Entertainment. 1995 Notorious B.I.G. records a song called "Who Shot Ya?
December 24, 2010 |
It's not that difficult to find the heart of this small east Texas city with wide-open spaces and lanky pine trees that breach the pale blue sky. Cruise past the 67-foot statue of Sam Houston (who's buried here), the town square and the plantation-style homes with the porches that wrap all the way around. Turn on to Avenue I, and there it stands: high, red brick walls the color of a schoolhouse. Inside are cramped cinderblock cells, inmates, guards and ? what put Huntsville on the map ?
March 12, 1999 |
A judge dismissed murder charges against a man who spent nearly 17 years on death row before Northwestern University student journalists helped gather evidence to clear him. Since Anthony Porter's release Feb. 5, key witnesses have recanted their testimony and Alstory Simon of Milwaukee was videotaped admitting to the 1982 shooting deaths of two teenagers in Chicago.
October 23, 2002 |
Gov. George Ryan said he has "pretty much ruled out" granting blanket clemency to Illinois' death row inmates. As Ryan spoke in Springfield, the state's Prisoner Review Board was in its second week of clemency hearings for 142 of the 160 inmates on death row. The board was flooded with clemency petitions after the governor said he might commute all death sentences to life without parole. Ryan said his main concern is to make sure no innocent person is executed.
October 20, 2006 |
A Texas death row inmate killed himself hours before he was to be executed, proclaiming his innocence in a message scrawled in his own blood. Michael Johnson, 29, was found at 2:45 a.m. after he used a makeshift metal blade to cut his jugular vein and an artery in his right arm, Texas prison spokeswoman Michelle Lyons said. The suicide occurred despite close vigilance on death row, where guards check every 15 minutes on inmates. Johnson was sentenced to die for the Sept.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 10, 2003 |
Plans for a $220-million expansion of San Quentin State Prison's death row are moving forward, despite opposition from a number of elected officials. Public comment will be sought this month on issues that should be addressed in the project's environmental impact report. Funding was included in this year's state budget for the project, which calls for construction of a 535,000-square-foot death row complex with 1,024 prison cells in the southwestern portion of the 432-acre prison.
March 28, 2007 |
Gov. Ted Strickland granted a death row inmate a four-month reprieve to allow more time for DNA testing in a 1982 slaying. His execution had been set for April 17. John Spirko, 60, was convicted of killing Betty Jane Mottinger of Elgin based on witness statements and his comments to investigators. He has said he is not guilty.
October 22, 1997 |
Death Row Records has sued Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman, accusing the powerful Los Angeles accounting firm of fraud and embezzlement. The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, contends that the accounting firm and one of its ex-partners, Steven Cantrock, diverted funds, failed to pay bills or file proper income returns for Death Row and its owner Marion "Suge" Knight.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 2007 |
With the latest death at San Quentin State Prison, suicide has supplanted execution as the second leading cause of death on California's death row. The leading reason for inmate deaths is natural causes. Tony Lee Reynolds' death Sunday was the 14th suicide -- one more than the number of condemned inmates executed in California since the state reinstated capital punishment in 1978. There are now 666 inmates on death row, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.