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USA | Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death is a terrible opportunity for Trump

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"Sometimes it felt like she was America’s last hope. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court judge since 1993, achieved celebrity status during Trump’s four years. Affectionately given the nickname “Notorious R.B.G” by a slew of online followers, she was the subject of superhero memes and the inspiration for much light-hearted merchandise (Urban Outfitters stocks T-shirts emblazoned with her face and her famously blunt quotes, and I gifted a friend in Brooklyn a cuddly Ginsburg doll for her newborn last year.)
Beneath the jokes, the quotes and the well-designed tote bags, however, ran an undercurrent of anxiety and fear. The fact that Supreme Court judges have lifetime appointments meant that many were morbidly obsessed with Ginsburg — who battled cancer on numerous occasions, and died of its complications today — staying alive long enough to get to the election. She herself clearly felt the same way, if NPR’s reports about her dying wishes are to be believed: “My most fervent wish is …

California Plans New Death Row Costing $356 Million

San Quentin's brand new execution chamber
San Quentin's brand new execution chamber
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has earmarked $136 million in additional funds to build a new death row at San Quentin State Prison.

In 2003, the California State Legislature had authorized $220 million for the same project, but the plans were put aside when cost estimates increased. The current estimate is $356 million to complete the construction of the 768 new cells needed to reduce San Quentin's significant overcrowding.

California already has the largest death row in the country, with approximately 660 inmates. In 30 years, the state has carried out 13 executions.

Many members of the legislature oppose spending such a large amount of money on death row facilities. Assemblyman Jared Huffman said he was "extremely disappointed" by the budget allocation, especially given that Gov. Schwarzenegger has also proposed budget cuts to social programs.

Steve Kinsey, Supervisor of Marin County, California, also noted, "At a time when the governor's budget is going to put children on the street, it is absurd to be spending $400,000 a bed for condemned prisoners."

Source: $136 million requested for new death row at San Quentin, Richard Halstead, Marin Independent Journal, January 10, 2008

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