California Capital Punishment

Incarcerated People on Condemned Status

official State of California seal

Historically, state law mandated that male prisoners on condemned status be housed at San Quentin State Prison and women on condemned status be housed at Central California Women’s Facility. Proposition 66, a ballot measure passed by California voters in 2016, allows prison officials to transfer condemned incarcerated people to any state prison that provides the necessary level of security.

Pursuant to Penal Code 3600, every male sentenced to death is to be delivered to the warden of the California state prison designated by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for the execution of the death penalty. The individual is to be kept in a California prison until execution of the judgment. CDCR may transfer the individual to another prison which it determines to provide a level of security sufficient for that person. The incarcerated person is to be returned to the prison designated for execution of the death penalty after an execution date has been set.


On March 13, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order instituting a moratorium on the death penalty in California in the form of a reprieve for all people sentenced to death. The executive order also calls for repealing California’s lethal injection protocol and the immediate closing of the execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison. The order does not provide for the release of any individual from prison or otherwise alter any current conviction or sentence.