The Nation’s Largest Death Row Has Run Out Of Room

Mar 30, 2015 at 6:12 PM ET

California has no more space to house convicts who are condemned to die. Tied up in one lawsuit after the next, the state hasn’t executed a single prisoner in nearly a decade. But its death row population—the largest in the country—continues to grow. Since state and federal courts placed a moratorium on California’s three-drug lethal injections in 2006, the number of prisoners sentenced to death has risen from 646 to 751, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Women make up 20 of the death row inmates, and there’s no space shortage with them. The remaining 731 men are required by law to be jailed in San Quentin State Prison. The problem is that San Quentin’s death row can only accommodate 715 inmates. And the state estimates it will continue to add an additional 20 condemned prisoners a year.

The looming crisis has Gov. Jerry Brown scrambling to open 100 more cells for condemned men at San Quentin, the Times reports. However, he will need $3.2 million—along with approval from the state legislature—to do so.

Read More:

As death row runs out of room, Brown eyes space of those newly sprung (Los Angeles Times)
The death penalty is experiencing technical difficulties (Pacific Standard)
Federal judge says California’s death penalty system is ‘unconstitutional’ (Washington Post)