2 death row inmates die in California outbreak

California

FILE – A Department of Corrections officer guards the main entryway leading into San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif., July 24, 2019. California lawmakers harshly criticized state corrections officials Wednesday, July 1, 2020, for a “failure of leadership” for botching their handling of the pandemic by inadvertently transferring infected inmates to an untouched prison, triggering the state’s worst prison coronavirus outbreak. A third of the 3,500 inmates at San Quentin State Prison near San Francisco have tested positive since officials transferred 121 inmates from the heavily impacted California Institution for Men in Chino on May 30 without properly testing them for infections. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Authorities in California say two more death row inmates have died from apparent complications of the coronavirus in the midst of an outbreak that has infected 40% of inmates at San Quentin State Prison.

The corrections department says Scott Erskine and Manuel Machado Alvarez died Friday.

Erskine was on death row for the 1993 murder of two boys, 9 and 13, in San Diego. Alvarez was there for a 1987 series of crimes that included rape, robbery, carjacking and murder in Sacramento.

There have now been two dozen deaths from COVID-19 in California’s prison system.

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