Since restoring the death penalty in 1978, California has condemned more than 900 individuals, yet executed just 13. The hundreds who remain are housed at San Quentin State Prison in a highly restricted cell block plagued by suicides, drugs, mental illness, neglect and idleness. This essay offers a glimpse at the lives, despair and deaths of condemned killers who wait decades for executions that never come. It questions the moral cost of such limbo.
The Cost of Doing Nothing: Revisiting California’s death row
Paige St. John is a journalist currently working for The Los Angeles Times who does investigative reporting and writes about criminal justice in California. She received a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2011 while writing for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for her work on the property-insurance system in Florida.
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Paige St. John; The Cost of Doing Nothing: Revisiting California’s death row. Boom 1 June 2016; 6 (2): 42–51. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/boom.2016.6.2.42
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