- Associated Press - Monday, March 28, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A 64-year-old condemned inmate died Saturday of natural causes after serving 35 years on death row.

Bernard L. Hamilton was sentenced to death on March 2, 1981, by a San Diego County jury for the May 31, 1979, first-degree murder and second-degree burglary of Eleanore Buchanan. Hamilton was convicted of kidnaping, murdering and dismembering Buchanan’s body after she caught him burglarizing her van. He died at a medical center after serving time at San Quentin.

Hamilton had a prior conviction for burglary in 1973. He had been on death row since March 4, 1981.

Since 1978, when California reinstated capital punishment, 70 condemned inmates, including Hamilton, have died from natural causes. Twenty five have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California and eight have died from other causes. There are 747 offenders on California’s death row.



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