The Big Picture

On death row in San Quentin

A rare look at life on death row at San Quentin State Prison in California. America’s most populous state, which has not carried out an execution in a decade, begins 2016 at a pivotal juncture, as legal developments hasten the march toward resuming executions, while opponents seek to end the death penalty at the ballot box.--By Reuters
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Robert Galvan, who is on death row for murder, speaks to members of the media at the Adjustment Center yard during a tour of California's Death Row at San Quentin State Prison. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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An armed guard patrols on the East Block for condemned prisoners. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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Condemned inmate Sean Vines is seen inside his cell on the East Block of California's Death Row at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin Dec. 29, 2015. America's most populous state, which has not carried out an execution in a decade, begins 2016 at a pivotal juncture, as legal developments hasten the march toward resuming executions, while opponents seek to end the death penalty at the ballot box. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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A guard tower at San Quentin State Prison. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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Exercise equipment is seen in a yard outside the East Block for condemned prisoners. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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A general view of San Quentin State Prison in California on Dec. 29, 2015. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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Douglas Clark, 67, who has been on death row for 33 years for murder, gestures from a cell at the Adjustment Center of California's Death Row at San Quentin State Prison. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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Empty holding cells are seen in the East Block for condemned prisoners during a tour of California's Death Row at San Quentin State Prison. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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A Mickey Mouse clock is seen on a wall on death row. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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A guard displays his San Quentin State Prison belt buckle during a tour of California's Death Row at San Quentin State Prison. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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Mark Navarette, who is on death row for murder, speaks to members of the media from his cell on the East Block. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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A death row inmate uses a phone from his cell in the East Block. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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Lieutenant Sam Robinson, a public information officer at San Quentin State Prison, knocks on the door to the East Block for condemned prisoners during a tour of California's Death Row in San Quentin. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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A guard stands behind bars at the Adjustment Center of Death Row at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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A sign is seen on the wall leading to the entrance of the Condemned Row at San Quentin State Prison. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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A guard opens the handcuffs of an inmate after he was escorted back into his cell in the East Block. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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Charles Edwards Case, who is on death row for murder, types a letter to his attorney inside his cell on the East Block for condemned prisoners. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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An armed guard stands on a gun rail above the yard at the Adjustment Center of California's Death Row at San Quentin State Prison. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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A painting of 'Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima' is seen at the end of a flight of stairs that leads to the Condemned Row at San Quentin State Prison. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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Two guards walk in a yard during a tour of San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin on Dec. 29. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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An inmate stands against a fence at the Adjustment Center yard of California's Death Row at San Quentin State Prison. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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A sign is seen above the gate to the Condemned Row at San Quentin State Prison on Dec. 29. America's most populous state, which has not carried out an execution in a decade, begins 2016 at a pivotal juncture, as legal developments hasten the march toward resuming executions, while opponents seek to end the death penalty at the ballot box. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
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