Death Row Rebuild Bidding Under Way
|He may soon be enjoying spacious new digs. Or maybe not.|
Fittingly, the process to redevelop death row appears to be no easier.
The state this week began accepting bids toward a projected $356 million death row reconstruction at San Quentin, even as Marin County filed a suit this week attempting to kill the project.
The state has already received nine bids ranging from $126 million to $145 million for portions of the reconstruction. But that all may come to naught if a Tuesday lawsuit filed by Marin County's district attorney gains traction. That suit calls for a restraining order to halt the state from "encumbering or expending any funds for the San Quentin Condemned Inmate Complex until this litigation is resolved."
At issue: Marin County claims Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't have the right to use his line-item veto to eliminate stipulations forbidding the state from taking out bonds to finance a new death row until it answered legal questions about prison conditions. The governor's people, naturally, think he can.
Assuming the lawsuit doesn't move forward, the state anticipates the 541,000-square-foot complex, complete with 768 cells and 1,152 beds, will open in 2013.