SAN QUENTIN (CBS13) – A man on death row for killing three college students more than three decades ago has died of natural causes, according to prison officials.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) said Wednesday that 54-year-old David Leslie Murtishaw was found dead late Tuesday night in his cell at San Quentin State Prison. He was the only occupant of the cell.

Murtishaw was sentenced in 1978 in Kern County for murdering three University of Southern California students who were shooting a student film in the Mojave Desert. He has been on death row since 1979.

CDCR officials said since California reinstated the death penalty in 1978, 55 condemned inmates have died of natural causes, 19 have committed suicide, and 13 have been executed. 718 offenders remain on death row throughout the state.

Comments (13)
  1. abot says:

    send the rest to sacramento and be good neighbors with brown.

  2. Jigaroo says:

    Tie dollar bills and crack pipes to them and let them wander arount Bayshore. They will all be dead in an hour.

  3. John Sheckles says:

    California idea of death = Life in prison

  4. gna says:

    What a piece of news..!!..

  5. stone Cold says:

    Another example of the bleeding heart liberials being kind to the poormisunderstood mass murders who are having to live the life style of the rich and famous on SQ death row. It is a well known fact that these poor souls are giving almost anything they want during their stay. Why do you think scott Peterson has access to the internet from a computer given him by Administrative Department staff so he can prey on more females in soceity. I know officers who have to work Death row and cater to the inmates.

    1. sully says:

      Stone Cold
      You don’t know jack’

      1. Stone Cold says:

        Yo holmes is your buddy jack on the row? You haven’t been anywere and know nothing except were your next free meal is comming from. Because Stone Cold sez SOOO

  6. Fencepost says:

    Two death row prisoners gone in the last couple of weeks! Only 718 more to go..

  7. JJStryder says:

    Those who say that the death penalty doesn’t work in california are correct.On death row for over 30 years? That is why it isn’t a deterrent. I like Thomas Jeffersons answer. The next day, save one(Sunday) after being convicted you are executed. That would definitely have a deterrent effect. If their is a shadow of a doubt,life imprisonment should be the sentence. But some of these folks were caught dead to rights. Hell, these guys outlive the jury that convicted them because of their health care and sequestration.

  8. FreudianSlip says:

    What they don’t tell you is the 718 death row inmates all get free legal counsel paid by the State of California. Each death row inmate’s case can easily get legal billings exceeding $1 Million during their years of incarceration. Nearly all get pricey Appeals cases that run for years and years of legal fee billing to California. These cases are highly prized political favors granted to the big California law firms.

    They will throw an inmates case file on a conference room table surrounded by a dozen or more law firm partners to discuss and then bill California $5000-$10,000 for that one monthly partner meeting. A huge boondoggle perpetuated by political hacks and their law firm cronies.

    Fire everyone in the California Legislature and start over. Time to stop the political corruption ingrained in the system.

  9. Kimberly says:

    The only sad part about this story is that it took this long for this man to die and it was of natural causes

  10. Joe says:

    When is california going to follow thru and give these vermin their reward for their heinous crimes.

  11. Matt says:

    Can we ship the remaining to Texas where they USE the death penalty? I’m tired of our tax dollars being wasted on legal services these vermin recieve. Educate our kids, Feed the hungry, Build a border fence, Hire more cops, do something positive with the money.

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