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February 14, 2006

Judge places restrictions on California execution method

As well covered by Howard Bashman, who provides here links to press coverage, today a federal judge refused to stop California from executing a death row defendant next week as long as certain conditions are met as part of the state's lethal injection protocol.  This AP article explains:

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that California must change its lethal injection method for the execution of Michael Morales next week because the current mix of drugs may constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel in San Jose declined to immediately postpone Morales' Feb. 21 scheduled execution, but he ordered the state to either have an expert present to ensure he's unconscious from a sedative or replace a three-drug death potion with a lethal dose of barbiturate.

Judge Fogel's 15-page opinion can be accessed here, and additional press coverage is available from the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News.

The next stop, I would expect, will be the Ninth Circuit and then SCOTUS may get a chance to play, too.

February 14, 2006 at 09:06 PM | Permalink

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