News Releases

Condemned Inmate Bernard L. Hamilton Dies of Natural Causes

SACRAMENTOCondemned inmate Bernard L. Hamilton, 64, was pronounced dead Saturday, March 26, 2016, at 10:45 a.m. He died of natural causes while in a medical center in the community.

Hamilton was sentenced to death on March 2, 1981, by a San Diego County jury for the May 31, 1979, first-degree murder and second-degree burglary and of Eleanore Buchanan. Hamilton kidnapped, murdered and dismembered Buchanan’s body after she caught him burglarizing her van. Hamilton had a prior conviction for burglary in 1973. He had been on death row since March 4, 1981.
Since 1978 when California reinstated capital punishment, 70 condemned inmates (including Hamilton) have died from natural causes, 25 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri, one was executed in Virginia, eight have died from other causes, and one cause of death is pending. There are 747 offenders on California’s death row.

March 28, 2016    

CONTACT: Lt. Sam Robinson, 
(415) 455-5008