California’s Chaotic Death Penalty

Authored by: Stacy L. Mallicoat , Brenda L. Vogel , David Crawford

Routledge Handbook on Capital Punishment

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138651579
eBook ISBN: 9781315624723
Adobe ISBN:


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California is home to the largest death row population in the nation (Death Penalty Focus, 2017). In fact, it is the largest death row population in the Western Hemisphere (Nichols, 2016). As of January 6, 2017, there were 750 people on death row in California; 2.8% (21) of the condemned were women and 97.2% (729) were men (CDCR, 2017, January 20). California’s condemned men are housed at San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco, and the 21 condemned women are confined at the Central California Women’s Facility near Chowchilla. With respect to race, 36% are black, 34% are white, 24% are Hispanic, and 6% are identified as “other” (CDCR, 2017, January 20). They range in age from 24 to 86 years (CDCR, 2017, January 20). Nearly two dozen require wheelchairs or walkers, and at least one is confined to bed in diapers (St. John, 2015).

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