Oregon prison official: 'Death row not a hardship' for convicted killer

Oregon prison official: 'Death row not a hardship' for convicted killer »Play Video

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- A death row inmate convicted of killing a war hero said he wants to be transferred to the general prison population, but recent court documents explain why his requests were denied.


34-year-old Jesse Fanus was sentenced to death after being convicted of killing World War II flying ace Marion Carl in 1998. Fanus killed Marine Corps war hero while attempting to rob Carl’s home in Glide.


The Oregon Supreme Court overturned Fanus’ death sentence in October of 2012, but he's still housed on death row.


Court documents filed by State Penitentiary Superintendent Jeff Premo say an Oregon Department of Corrections policy states that inmates pending retrial in a capital case would continue to be housed on death row.


Premo notes that the corrections department adopted that rule after Fanus filed his initial grievance.


The documents also imply that inmates on death row may actually live in better conditions.


“Placement on death row is not, in my opinion, a 'significant and atypical hardship' relative to ordinary prison life,” Premo wrote in the document, adding that death row inmates can watch TV, exercise regularly and eat the same food as other prisoners.


Cells on death row also have air conditioning, unlike cells for the general prison population.


Fanus is scheduled for re-sentencing in January of 2015. He will remain in death row housing until then, Premo said.