17 Nov 2010

Longest-serving death row prisoner dies

3:22 pm on 17 November 2010

Prison officials in the United States say the longest-serving prisoner on death row in Texas has died in his cell while awaiting a fourth sentencing trial.

Ronald Curtis Chambers, 55, died after collapsing in his cell at a Dallas county jail.

He had spent 35 years on death row after being convicted for bludgeoning and shooting a student to death in 1975.

The guilt of Chambers, who was 20 at the time of his crime, was not in question. But his conviction was overturned three times on the grounds that mitigating circumstances were not taken into account, and that a jury had been biased against him because he was African-American.