News Releases


The execution of William George Bonin is scheduled for February 23, 1996 at San Quentin State Prison. Convicted of murdering 14 teenaged boys in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, Bonin received death sentences from both counties. The LA County Superior Court set the February 23 execution date at a hearing last Friday and the Orange County Superior Court set the same date for Bonin yesterday.

The California Department of Corrections Communications Office in Sacramento is making arrangements for all media credentials. Contact with San Quentin is not necessary.

This advisory covers media access to prison grounds only. Up to seventeen (17) news media representatives will witness the execution as a pool for all media. Please, no phone calls about selections. There will be separate media advisory issued shortly on the selection process.

The Radio Television News Director’s Association of Northern California (RTNDA) and the Radio Television News Association in Southern California (RTNA) are responsible for the selection of broadcasters to witness the execution. There are positions for four (4) television and four (4) radio stations. The criteria includes provisions for a selection balance between northern and southern California, that the television stations selections include representation from ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC news networks, and that one radio and one television be from the county where the crime was committed. The RTNDA contact is Darryl Compton, 415-341-9978. The RTNA contact is Carolyn Fox, 818-986-8168.

The newspaper selection criteria specify a media witness position for the daily newspaper of record with the largest circulation in the county where the crime occurred (i.e. Los Angeles and Orange Counties) as well as the largest newspapers in the metropolitan areas of San Diego, San Francisco Bay, and Sacramento. Those newspapers are the: Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, San Diego Union-Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and Sacramento Bee. Two positions will be chosen at random from California daily newspapers of record with 100,000 circulation and above that have applied for credentials by February 13.

Up to one hundred twenty-five (125) news media representatives will be admitted to the media center on prison grounds to attend news briefings and a news conference after the execution. To accommodate as many media firms as possible, each news media organization applying will be limited to one reporter. Firms selected to send a representative to witness the execution will be allowed a separate reporter for the media center.

In anticipation that interest will exceed space, pool arrangements will be necessary for video/audio feeds, and still photos. The pool will be limited to two television camera operators, two still photographers, and one audio engineer.

Broadcast microwave and satellite vans and their support personnel will be permitted in a parking lot adjacent to the IST building. Space is limited to about 30 vehicles. Priority will be given to those sending “live” reports serving LA and Bay area media and multiple stations statewide. Television vans will be allowed up to four (4) support personnel (engineer, producer, talent, and camera operator) in addition to the reporter for the media center. Radio broadcast vans will be allowed three (3) support personnel (engineer, producer, and talent) in addition to the media center reporter.

To be considered, send written notification signed by the news department manager on company letterhead with the names of the proposed representatives, their dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, social security numbers and size of vehicle (for broadcast van access) to:

CDC Communications
1515 S Street, Room 113S
P.O. Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 94283-0001

Fax or telephone requests will not be accepted. All requests must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 13. Given the time needed for security clearances and access permits for this number of people which have to be completed by February 23, requests received after February 13, including personnel substitutions, will be processed only if time permits and after the initial requests are completed. No assurances can be provided that the processing for late requests will be completed by February 23.

The building being used for the media center has 60 amp electrical service with a limited number of outlets. There are seven (7) pay telephones. The media pool will be responsible for providing a generator for electrical power and for any special telephone provisions. Media orders for private telephone hookups must be arranged with Pacific Telephone which will coordinate installation with San Quentin.