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February 21, 2006

Morales execution update ... now on hold

As detailed in this news article, a "federal judge has ruled that tonight's execution of Michael Morales can proceed provided that a licensed medical professional injects at least five grams of sodium thiopental directly into Morales's bloodstream."  This latest ruling by federal judge Jeremy Fogel, coming the day after after two anesthesiologists refused to participate in the lethal injection protocol the judge had previously ordered because of ethical concerns (background here), can be downloaded here:

Download latest_federal_order_in_morales.pdf

I have been told that Morales' attorneys vow to appeal Judge Fogel's order calling it a "violation of due process, absolutely unethical and improper."   We should know before long whether the Ninth Circuit or SCOTUS may jump in this time around.  For some fitting commentary on the Morales case, check out this post by Dan Filler at Concurring Opinions.

UPDATE: As detailed in this AP story, California "has indefinitely postponed Tuesday's planned execution of convicted killer Michael Morales because of a court battle and medical ethics questions surrounding the method of lethal injection."  In related news, I see from this story that the Morales mess in renewing calls foe a moratorium in California:

Saying the state appears "hell-bent" on carrying out "what is essentially a medical experiment to execute a human tonight," a Democratic assemblyman is calling on Gov. Schwarzenegger to declare an immediate moratorium on lethal injection executions in California.

MORE:  This New York Times article suggests that the next event in the Morales case will be a full hearing in May before Judge Fogel.  After all this time and wrangling, the victim's family's voice ought also be heard.  Here is a telling quote from the AP story:

The victim's mother, Barbara Christian, was outraged by the decision.  "I'm totally disillusioned with the justice system. We've been waiting 25 years with the expectancy that he is gonna pay for his crimes," she said. "It feels like we just got punched in the stomach."

February 21, 2006 at 08:45 PM | Permalink


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Tracked on Feb 21, 2006 11:14:55 PM


How devastating for the family of the victim, who this man brutally raped and murdered.

Posted by: RL Swainston | Feb 22, 2006 9:21:02 AM

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