Death Chamber Open for Business: San Quentin - NBC Bay Area

Death Chamber Open for Business: San Quentin

San Quentin death chamber ready for use



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    SAN QUENTIN, CA - JANUARY 22: A guard tower is seen on the grounds of the California State Prison at San Quentin January 22, 2007 in San Quentin, California. The U.S. Supreme court threw out California's sentencing law on Monday, a decision that could reduce sentences for thousands of inmates in the California State correctional facilities. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    Officials say a death chamber at San Quentin State Prison is ready for a scheduled execution next week -- if a federal judge lifts his moratorium on lethal injections.

    The media got a rare glimpse of the $835,000 facility on the same day lawyers for Attorney General Jerry Brown were scheduled to urge U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel to allow the execution of Albert Greenwood Brown.

    The death row inmate is scheduled to die Sept. 29 for the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Riverside County girl abducted on her way home from school in 1980.

     "We are fully prepared to carry out an execution," prison spokesman Lt. Sam Robinson said as he led members of the media on a tour of the lethal injection facility completed in 2008 -- two years after Fogel halted executions in California and ordered prison officials to improve procedures for administering lethal injections.

    Located near death row, the white, cinder block, 11-room death chamber has a main viewing room where nearly 30 officials and media can witness an execution through a glass window.

    The sterile-looking facility also has separate eyewitness rooms for the families of victims and inmates.

     Prisoners spend their final six hours in a secluded holding cell area that has a phone and flat-screen television, without cable. There's also a small area next to the holding cell where they can talk to lawyers and priests, if requested.

    The injection room is equipped with a green gurney with numerous straps and buckles. Behind the room is a control center where the execution team can create the lethal cocktail for execution.

     The center has four phones to contact the governor, state Supreme Court, attorney general and warden at a moment's notice.

     "The phones are connected to all those entities to make sure the inmates' legal rights are upheld," Robinson said.

     San Quentin inmates helped build the facility.