Daniel Wozniak has left San Quentin. He is no longer housed in California’s only death row prison.
You probably already figured out that Daniel did not “leave” in the same way a Texas death row inmate might leave.
The Pilot Program
Almost a year ago, Daniel signed up for a pilot transfer program to move death row inmates to prisons where they can get prison jobs. He was quickly approved.
This does not change his status as a condemned prisoner. It also doesn’t change the fact that he gets an appeal lawyer / process paid for by the taxpayers.
Death row inmates are being moved to make space for new condemned prisoners. Even though there is a moratorium against executions in California, prosecutors are still pursuing the death penalty and juries continue to choose the ultimate punishment.
Immediately after being accepted to the pilot program, Daniel spent a week going through the majority of his property so he could organize and pack it for easy transfer. For months, he and I were both ready for him to be shipped out any day. If he missed a scheduled phone call or was even an hour late, I was sure he was on that bus, and I was happy for him.
After many months of that… I basically forgot about the whole thing.
But last week, Daniel got the official go-ahead to prepare to leave San Quentin. He was told to pack up his property (it still was) and prepare to turn it over so it could be taken away for inspection.
Daniel was only one of about fifteen other DR inmates being prepared for transfer. None of the prisoners were told their destination, and would not find out where they were going until they were on the bus (a logical safety protocol, because there is always the chance somebody might plan an ambush of the bus in an attempt to escape).
Still, there was a consensus among the prisoners that Monday, July 12th, 2021 would be moving day because it would take a couple of days for all their property to be inspected, and transfers rarely happen on the weekends. Another big clue was that those prisoners were all given COVID-19 tests on Sunday morning.
By the time our scheduled Tuesday phone call came and went without hearing from Daniel, I knew he was on his way someplace.
Daniel Wozniak’s New Location
Three days later, I got my first letter from Daniel in his new “home.” It was a short letter to let me know where he ended up: Salinas Valley State Prison in northern California. This is still a six-hour drive for me, and no longer very close to my friends in San Francisco, but I will visit him there when all the pandemic protocols allow it.
They had indeed traveled on Monday the 12th, and weren’t told they were going to Salinas until the bus started to move. Daniel was glad the trip was only three hours instead of the ten to get to Donovan. He did, however, really enjoy looking out the window during the drive. He hasn’t seen the real world in five years. He told me it was an even more important experience for his buddy “Scooter,” who has been on death row for the past thirty years.
Daniel ended the letter saying he’ll call me (after he calls him mom) as soon as he is processed. He also promised that he’s been taking copious notes and will write and tell me all about his new life ASAP.
He ended with “You’re not going to believe this place!”
I took this to mean Salinas is an improvement to being on death row in San Quentin. He had already expected that because he had been doing research on it and on Donovan for a while. When I know more information, I will give you readers the 411 on Daniel’s new digs.
I hope my friend will be happy in his new home.
Still, it’s no condo, and I won’t be bringing a houseplant to his housewarming.
Because… Daniel Wozniak is a murderer.
Sam Herr and Julie Kibuishi are dead because of Daniel. Neither of these young people will ever move into a new home, or get to come home at all. There won’t be any housewarmings.
That’s a reality that must be unbearable for all the people who loved Sam and Julie, and I’m pretty sure it will be made worse when they learn this killer won’t even be suffering the punishment of living in a tiny cold cell on death row.
~ To be continued ~