US

California death row inmates focus on passing their time as executions remain on hold

  • In this photo taken on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, inmate Charles Crawford gestures while speaking to reporters in a recreation yard at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif. With California's lethal injection protocol in limbo, the nearly 750 inmates at San Quentin State Prison, the nation’s most populous death row, are more likely to die from natural causes or suicide than execution. The inmates await a final decision on a proposed one-drug execution method and the possibility that voters in 2016 will scrap the death penalty altogether. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

    In this photo taken on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, inmate Charles Crawford gestures while speaking to reporters in a recreation yard at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif. With California's lethal injection protocol in limbo, the nearly 750 inmates at San Quentin State Prison, the nation’s most populous death row, are more likely to die from natural causes or suicide than execution. The inmates await a final decision on a proposed one-drug execution method and the possibility that voters in 2016 will scrap the death penalty altogether. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, the fingers of Martin Navarette reach out of his cell on death row at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif. With California's lethal injection protocol in limbo, the nearly 750 inmates at San Quentin State Prison, the nation’s most populous death row, are more likely to die from natural causes or suicide than execution. The inmates await a final decision on a proposed one-drug execution method and the possibility that voters in 2016 will scrap the death penalty altogether. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

    In this photo taken on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, the fingers of Martin Navarette reach out of his cell on death row at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif. With California's lethal injection protocol in limbo, the nearly 750 inmates at San Quentin State Prison, the nation’s most populous death row, are more likely to die from natural causes or suicide than execution. The inmates await a final decision on a proposed one-drug execution method and the possibility that voters in 2016 will scrap the death penalty altogether. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, prison guards walk down a corridor in the Adjustment Center at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif. With California's lethal injection protocol in limbo, the nearly 750 inmates at San Quentin State Prison, the nation’s most populous death row, are more likely to die from natural causes or suicide than execution. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

    In this photo taken on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, prison guards walk down a corridor in the Adjustment Center at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif. With California's lethal injection protocol in limbo, the nearly 750 inmates at San Quentin State Prison, the nation’s most populous death row, are more likely to die from natural causes or suicide than execution. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)  (The Associated Press)

With executions on hold in California and a death penalty appeals process that can take years, many inmates on the nation's largest death row say they spend little time worrying about the lethal injection that may one day kill them.

Inmates spoke during a rare tour of the concrete and metal death row cell blocks at San Quentin State Prison. The prison is home to the vast majority of California's nearly 750 condemned inmates — the nation's largest such population.

The tour on Tuesday came as the state considers a one-drug execution protocol to replace a three-drug method that a federal judge invalidated in 2006 as a potentially cruel and unusual punishment.

Inmates today are more likely to die from natural causes or suicide than execution.