No Death Row Inmates Getting Funds, Agency Says

From a Times Staff Writer

Embarrassed about mistakenly funneling nearly $80,000 to serial killer William Bonin before his execution last month, Social Security Administration officials reported Thursday that a review discovered no other death row inmates in California receive illegal benefits.

Aside from the much-criticized snafu involving the so-called "Freeway Killer," the Social Security survey failed to turn up any condemned inmates in California, Arizona or Nevada receiving payments.

Leslie Walker, a spokeswoman for the Social Security Administration's western region office, said the agency has yet to determine how the error happened, but "we still take full responsibility for what occurred."

Social Security benefits are by law prohibited for any convict serving longer than a year behind bars.

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