Ruiz was sentenced to death on January 27, 2003, by a Merced County jury for the May 22, 1998, murder and robbery of a Merced liquor and grocery store owner, Abdo Muhammed, 42, and the murder of Antonio Cruz, a 74-year-old customer in the store. Ruiz had been on death row since January 28, 2003.
Since 1978 when California reinstated capital punishment, 62 condemned inmates (including Ruiz) have died from natural causes, 22 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri, six have died from other causes, and for one of them, the cause of death is pending. There are 746 offenders on California’s death row.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 30, 2013
CONTACT: SAM ROBINSON