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A rare look inside San Quentin state prison

Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Administrative segregation prisoners take part in a group therapy session at San Quentin state prison in San Quentin, California, on June 8, 2012. All photos made available to msnbc.com on July 11, 2012.

Chris Willis, 34, works out in the exercise yard at San Quentin state prison on June 8, 2012.

Reuters photographer Lucy Nicholson secured rare access to San Quentin state prison, California's oldest correctional facility and the location of the state's only gas chamber.

In 2001, The New York Times described San Quentin's death row as "the largest in the Western Hemisphere."

This November Californians will vote on a proposition to repeal the death penalty in the state. KCET reports that California has 725 inmates on death row, all of whom would serve a life term without the possibility of parole should the initiative be passed.

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Albert Ruiz, 50, who is on death row for murder, is led down a corridor at San Quentin state prison on June 8, 2012.

The entrance to death row at San Quentin state prison, June 8, 2012.

Inmates walk through San Quentin state prison on June 8, 2012.

Marvin Caldwell, 63, who said he was imprisoned for 20 years under the three strikes law for possession and sale of methamphetamine, looks out of his cell at San Quentin state prison on June 8, 2012.