CALIFORNIA IN BRIEF : SAN FRANCISCO : Court Orders Halt to Death Row Reforms

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A federal appeals court has halted court-ordered improvements in living conditions on San Quentin's Death Row until it can hear the state's objections to the changes at the aging Bay Area prison. In an emergency order handed down in San Francisco, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the court-ordered improvements at San Quentin's condemned wing, pending a further hearing. U.S. District Judge Stanley Weigel ordered the improvements Oct. 5. Under terms of Weigel's order, the prison must put a roof over a portion of the exercise area to give condemned inmates a place to exercise in inclement weather. The Death Row inmates must also be given shelves in their cells and access to typewriters and must be allowed to buy personal items such as dental floss, shoe polish and dairy creamer from the prison canteen.

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