James P. Anderson

For 44 years, James P. Anderson has sat on California’s Death Row at the San Quentin State Prison, built in 1854. Born on December 26, 1953, James was convicted of murdering two women by an all-white jury in predominantly racist Riverside County, California. His attorneys failed to collect the murder weapon that police discovered in the pocket of another individual. Further, critical forensic DNA evidence from the crime scene—including shoe prints in the sand that were actually two sizes different from his shoe size—would have proven his innocence.
From the date of being arrested (March 4, 1979) in one of the most racist counties in California (Riverside), and enduring one of what would be called by many, “a circus trial” on December 12, 1979, I was brought to the sixth floor of North Block, better known as...