The San Quentin prison in San Quentin, California, December 12, 2005. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered work on a new death chamber halted after lawmakers complained the project was going forward without their approval and because its cost has exceeded expectations, a state prison system spokesman said on Friday.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered a halt to construction on a new death chamber at San Quentin, which his administration started in January without legislative approval.
Jim Tilton, secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said Friday that at least one employee faces disciplinary action for the decision to revamp the death chamber without proper authorization.
“The governor as asked me to stop the project,” Tilton told reporters Friday. “He is very concerned about maintaining good communications with the Legislature and we should have done a much better job with that.”
Officials began construction after concluding it would cost $399,000 — just under the $400,000 level which triggers legislative approval, according to an administration document obtained last week by The Chronicle.
The new death chamber is being finished as the state’s use of capital punishment is under review by a federal court, and lawmakers have yet to authorize a larger construction project to revamp the prison’s entire Death Row.
Tilton said the total cost of the improvements is more than $700,000 and that the department would seek legislative approval for the work as part of the budget process in the coming months.
The Death Chamber at San Quentin Prison
Arnold wimps out to the anti-Capital punishment dominated Democrat legislature because he needs their cooperation to balance the California State Budget.
No GUTS, NO GLORY Governor.
Governor, don’t discipline the staff member who was attempting to expeditiously honor the will of California voters on Capital punishment – just build the damn death chamber, refurbish Death Row and execute Morales.
Remember Morales’ victim, Terri Lynn Winchell?
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