Scott Peterson has become the 644th prisoner awaiting death in California’s San Quentin Prison execution chamber. The Associated Press reports that a counselor will review his criminal, educational, medical, and psychological histories to classify the 32-year-old former fertilizer salesman, a process that could take several weeks. San Quentin houses 5,300 other prisoners, but they don’t interact with the condemned inmates. Death row, built in 1934 and designed for 68 inmates, is actually three buildings.
A new $220 million death row has been proposed. It would hold 1,000 men and replace the current patchwork of dilapidated facilities with a modern, security conscious design. There’s no telling whether Peterson will ever recieve a lethal injection. Most deaths on death row in California happen as a result of natural causes, or at the hands of other inmates. Peterson will likely sit for more than five years before he is appointed an attorney for a mandatory appeal to the California Supreme Court. Of the 38 states with the death penalty, California moves the slowest toward executions.