Robert Thompson Cali DR Dies in Prison

Started by , October 03, 2006, 02:26:12 AM

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October 03, 2006, 02:26:12 AM Last Edit: May 02, 2010, 07:38:05 PM by Jeff1857
Child murderer on San Quentin's death row dies of apparent heart attack

A 60-year-old child murderer on death row at San Quentin State Prison has died of an apparent heart attack after being incarcerated for almost 17 years, a lieutenant said today.

Robert Jackson Thompson was taken to Marin General Hospital around 8 a.m. Saturday, Lt. Eric Messick said. He had earlier complained of chest pains, and was pronounced dead by an attending physician at the hospital, the lieutenant said.

An Orange County jury convicted Thompson of sodomizing and strangling to death 12-year-old Benjamin Brenneman in a 1981 case in Anaheim. He has been at San Quentin since December 1983.

The California Supreme Court affirmed Thompson's sentence in 1990, but he was pursuing appeals in federal court, Messick said.

The boy's mother, Kay Brenneman, was quoted in a 1999 news report as supportive of capital punishment in an article highlighting a debate over whether contemporary execution methods were cruel and unusual.

"I've been waiting 17 years,'' she told the Contra Costa Times in remarks the newspaper published after the lethal injection of Jaturun "Jay'' Siripongs, in which the newspaper said it took 15 minutes for the convicted murderer to die.

Since the state reinstituted capital punishment in 1978, there have been 13 executions in California, one execution in Missouri in which the defendant was also convicted of a capital crime in California, and a total of 34 inmates who died for medical reasons.

"The leading cause of death on death row is natural causes,'' Messick said.

San Quentin State Prison has 621 inmates on death row.

(source: Bay City News)

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