Death Row Loses Another Inmate

Anthony Pignataro:

Well, another condemned prisoner has died on California’s notorious Death Row. Not by execution — don’t be silly — but by, well, prison officials don’t really know yet.

“Condemned inmate John Levae Post, 42, died Monday afternoon, shortly after being found unresponsive in his cell at San Quentin State Prison,” said a press release sent out this afternoon. “The cause of death is under investigation.”

For those keeping score at home, this makes Post the 76th condemned inmate to die in by non-execution means since California reinstated the death penalty in 1978. Of those, according to Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation statistics, 52 have died of natural causes, 18 committed suicide and five died “from other causes.” Just 13 have been executed in California, with another executed in Missouri.

With the cost of incarcerating an inmate on death row 10 times that of life imprisonment, it’s natural to ask after reading such news, Why again do we bother?

Oh, by the way — the press release also notes that, as of today, there are 717 inmates remaining on death row in California.

DEC. 21, 2010

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