An inmate sentenced to death over 30 years ago was pronounced dead Saturday morning of natural causes in a California jail.
Bernard L. Hamilton, was sentenced on March 2, 1981, by a San Diego County jury for the 1979, first-degree murder and second-degree burglary of Eleanore Buchanan.
Hamilton kidnapped, murdered and dismembered Buchanan’s body after she caught him burglarizing her van. He had a prior conviction for burglary in 1973.
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Hamilton had been on death row since March 4, 1981.
Seventy condemned inmates have died from natural causes since California reinstated the death penalty in 1978.
Twenty-five inmates have committed suicide, thirteen have been executed in California and two were executed in Missouri and Virginia.
Eight other inmates have died from other causes, and one cause of death is pending.
There are 747 offenders on California’s death row.