SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has canceled plans for a new $356 million death row complex at San Quentin State Prison.

Brown said on Thursday that the state cannot justify the expense at a time of massive cuts to education and other essential services.

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Plans for the new death row complex were approved in 2003 by former Gov. Gray Davis and continued to be developed under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The complex was designed to house 1,152 inmates, allowing California’s condemned population to grow. The state currently has less than 700 inmates awaiting death sentences.

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But critics called the project a boondoggle and said the proposed construction site on the eastern edge of San Quentin could be put to better use.

Marin County filed a lawsuit last year to block the state from beginning construction.

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