Marin officials Thursday cheered a proposal by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to sell San Quentin State Prison, part of a plan to raise between $600 million and $1 billion to help close the state's budget deficit.
But although local officials who have long fought planned construction of a new $356 million death row complex at San Quentin welcomed the governor's change of heart, they stopped short of declaring victory....
The state recently spent more than $164 million on new medical facilities and $850,000 for a new lethal injection room to replace the cramped gas chamber that was deemed unacceptable by a federal judge.
California has also already spent $17 million toward the new complex for condemned inmates. San Quentin, which opened in 1852, has 639 inmates on death row.
State and Consumer Services Secretary Fred Aguiar said the governor has not decided where San Quentin's 5,150 inmates should go if the prison were sold, or which other prison would perform executions.
Aguiar estimated it would cost more than $350 million to move death row alone, because that's what the state plans to spend rebuilding the condemned unit at San Quentin.
Is this sale a good idea? What do you think?
Props to Simon Grivet for alerting me to this.