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Arnold Schwarzenegger's Secret Execution Chamber

Democratic legislators in California are upset over a new execution chamber to be built in San Quentin Prison. Some lawmakers have accused Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of trying to “bypass the Legislature” by concealing details of the project.


San Francisco Chronicle:

Democratic lawmakers accused Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of hiding from the public his plans to build a new execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison in a legislative hearing Tuesday in which the governor’s top prison official admitted the controversial project would cost twice as much as first estimated.

While a Schwarzenegger spokesman and corrections secretary Jim Tilton said the administration wanted to quickly build a new execution chamber to meet a federal judge’s concerns, lawmakers suggested [there was] a deliberate attempt to keep the project secret. Corrections officials originally estimated a new lethal injection facility would cost $399,000, just under the amount that would have required legislative approval.

Tilton said Tuesday that the project — which was halted last month after lawmakers learned about it as construction was nearing completion — would cost $800,000 and the administration would not continue its work until lawmakers agreed to fund it.

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