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November 3, 2011

California lethal injection litigation now unlikely to be resolved until 2013!?!

This new little AP article, headlined "Cal's death penalty ban likely to extend into 2013," spotlights that the lawyers involved in the seemingly-never-ending battle over California's execution protocol are now on an even slower pace than before:

The moratorium on California's death penalty will likely extend into 2013.  Government lawyers on Wednesday agreed to resume their court battle with inmate lawyers no earlier than September, which will push back any scheduled executions into 2013 because of the time it takes a judge to rule and the expected appeals by the losers.

A federal judge halted executions nearly six years ago after finding flaws in California's executions process.  Prison officials have since revised their procedures, which death row inmates allege are still flawed and exposing them to cruel and unusual punishment.

Another judge in Marin County is scheduled to hear arguments Friday over whether prison officials followed proper procedures in revising the lethal injection process.  There are 720 inmates on California's death row.

What has been going on in California in its lethal injection litigation serves as a great demonstration of the converse of the slogan "Where there is a will, there is a way."  In California, there clearly is little or no will on the part of government lawyers or other state officials to get back in the execution business, and thus the state is unable to find a way to get its death chamber operational again.  (Indeed, I would not be surprised if a number of state lawyers and officials are hoping that California's voters abolish the death penalty via referendum just so they no longer have to figure out how and when to executed the huge number of condemned persons on the state's death row.)

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November 3, 2011 at 09:16 AM | Permalink


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Make no mistake, Kamala Harris is directing her attorneys to spend so much time to figure this out to help show the "futility" of the death penalty in California. The anti-death penalty folks have infiltrated the ranks of the executive branch that is duty bound to execute it. Is there any wonder why we have such a hard time?

I just wonder what the voters will do when they are told that a yes vote on the bill will spare the life of Richard Allen Davis. Given that there are over 700 on death row, each one could be highlighted in a commercial, 1 a day, until the election, with several to spare. A bit hyperbolic, but given the silliness spouted in the proposed initiative (I have read it, it is very troubling for those who work on the front lines), at least the commercials would be honest about what a yes vote actually means.

Posted by: David | Nov 3, 2011 10:21:40 AM

David --

The ads you suggest seem like a great idea to me. Let the voters see the grisly specifics of the killers who would benefit from this. The only fly in the ointment will be that George Soros can finance a lot more phony ads than we can finance truthful ones.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 3, 2011 2:40:38 PM

When Harris and Brown were elected, I opined that there would be barriers to executions in California. Some on this blog disagreed with me. What is unknown is how long this new district judge is going to take to rule once the state is ready and an appeal to the 9th Circuit. Like I said a couple of weeks ago, "I will believe it when it happens."

Posted by: DaveP | Nov 3, 2011 3:48:04 PM


the anti-death penalty folks didn't have to infiltrate the executive branch. Jerry Brown was already there.

Posted by: DaveP | Nov 3, 2011 6:57:10 PM

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