CALIFORNIA—On Monday, January 31, California Governor, Gavin Newsom, announced his intent to close the death row at San Quentin (SQ) for condemned inmates completely. The Governor indicated that inmates would be sent to other California prisons where they may begin a rehabilitation process.

On March 13, 2019, Governor Newsom issued a moratorium giving a reprieve to some 737 death row inmates awaiting execution. In his speech, Newsom spoke of being adamantly against the death penalty. Death Row at the historical San Quentin State Prison in Sacramento, California is to be turned into, “A positive healing environment.”

The following statements came from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) webpage.

“Governor Newsom signed an executive order instituting a moratorium on the death penalty in California in the form of a reprieve for all people sentenced to death. The executive order also calls for repealing California’s lethal injection protocol and the immediate closing of the execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison. The order does not provide for the release of any individual from prison or otherwise alter any current conviction or sentence.”

According to the CDCR website, the first California prison to be closed will be Deuel Vocational Institute (DVI). It is projected to close by September 30, 2022. The second prison, California Correctional Center (CCC), is projected to close by June 30, 2022.

San Quentin housed many famous criminals including murderer and cult leader, Charles Manson, who killed Sharon Tate and at least six others. Manson died at San Quentin in 2017 while serving a life sentence for his crimes.

Charles Ng

Charles Ng, 61, is a convicted serial killer who reportedly raped, tortured, and killed anywhere from 11 to 25 individuals. He is currently on death row at San Quentin.

Chester DeWayne Turner

Chester DeWayne Turner, 55, is a serial killer who is currently incarcerated at San Quentin after being convicted of strangulation and murder of at least 14 women. Turner has been named One of the city’s [Los Angeles] most prolific killers. Reports indicate that Turner was a DNA match to his victims. He has reportedly had his case heard again in appeals court.

There is a Facebook page titled, The Humans of San Quentin that shares stories of rehabilitated prisoners.