Death row inmate dies in Md. prison

CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) - Maryland corrections officials say a death row inmate has died, apparently of natural causes.

Corrections spokesman Mark Vernarelli says 60-year-old John Booth-El died Sunday after staff found him unresponsive in his cell at the North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland. As first reported by The Baltimore Sun, Vernarelli says Booth-El was pronounced dead a short time later despite attempts to revive him.

He says Booth-El's death appears to be from natural causes, but a state medical examiner autopsy will determine the exact cause of death.

Booth-El was sentenced to death for the 1983 murders of Irvin and Rose Bronstein. He was one of five death row inmates in Maryland, which has had a de facto death penalty moratorium since a 2006 ruling by the state's highest court.

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