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Death Row

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 7, 2013 | By a Times staff writer
“Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez had recently married when now-Los Angeles Times Staff Writer Christopher Goffard ran into him in the visiting area at San Quentin State Prison. Ramirez had already been sentenced to death after being convicted in 1989 of 13 murders, five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults and 14 burglaries. Ramirez, who infamously yelled out “Hail Satan” in court and drew a pentagram - apparently in his own blood - in his jail cell, died Friday of natural causes.
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OPINION
October 2, 2008 | Jeanne Woodford, Jeanne Woodford is the former director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the former warden of San Quentin State Prison.
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.
OPINION
May 8, 2007 | Sara Catania, SARA CATANIA is a contributing writer at Mother Jones and author of the forthcoming book, "A is for Afro."
LAST MONTH, the state of Texas executed James Lee Clark, a plumber's assistant who raped and killed a teenage girl. Clark's lawyers argued in vain that their client, a high school dropout with a low IQ, should have been spared because of his mental impairment. Within hours of Clark's death, California's highest court spared Jorge Junior Vidal from a possible death penalty trial in the torture and murder of a teenager because he is mentally retarded. Five years ago this June, the U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 2012 | By Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times
SAN QUENTIN - John C. Abel is the first to admit he's led a crook's life. He robbed banks and convenience stores, grocery marts and check-cashing joints. He terrified people with Uzi-style Mac 11s and .22-caliber handguns, Browning pistols and Dirty Harry-style Magnums. His stickup jag dated to the 1960s and sliced through the country from Massachusetts to California. "Even a couple islands up there by Seattle," he adds, in the genial voice of an old ballplayer reminiscing about a far-traveling career.
NEWS
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?
NATIONAL
March 30, 2011 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
A bitterly divided Supreme Court on Tuesday tossed out a jury verdict won by a New Orleans man who spent 14 years on death row and came within weeks of execution because prosecutors had hidden a blood test and other evidence that would have proven his innocence. The 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Clarence Thomas shielded the New Orleans district attorney's office from being held liable for the mistakes of its prosecutors. The evidence of their misconduct did not prove "deliberate indifference" on the part of then-Dist.
NEWS
March 12, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
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.
NATIONAL
October 23, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
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.
NATIONAL
October 20, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
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 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
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.
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