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Orange County Bar Association

San Quentin Execution Chamber Remodeling

Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo

San Quentin has done some remodeling. Using inmate labor and $853,000 taxpayer money the prison has a new execution chamber. A revision of the chamber stemmed from a federal court order addressing deficiencies in the process. The chamber itself is bigger; there is an adjacent room where the inmate would be for the six hours before the execution. There are four telephones on the wall, each with its own red light, which allow the U.S. Supreme Court, state attorney general, warden or governor to directly communicate. The gurney has straps and cuffs to hold down the inmate at the torso, ankles and wrists. Three vials pump the chemicals from a connected control room. First is the anesthesia sodium thiopental, second a paralytic pancurium bromide and lastly to stop the heart potassium chloride.

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