SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court ordered a trial judge late Monday to reconsider his ruling that paved the way for California’s first execution in nearly five years.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel erred when he offered death row inmate Albert Greenwood Brown the choice of being put to death with a one-drug lethal injection or a three-drug cocktail.

Brother Slams Appeals Court Decision

Such a decision is “not consistent with California law” and placed “an undue burden” on Brown, the appeals court said in an unsigned opinion.

The court left it for Fogel to schedule a new hearing, though time is of the essence. Brown’s execution is scheduled for 9 p.m. Thursday, three hours before the state’s entire stock of sodium thiopental expires.

The California attorney general’s office said Monday it would recommend not scheduling any more executions after Thursday until the state can secure a fresh supply of the drug, an anesthetic that renders condemned inmates unconscious before lethal drugs are injected.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has said it likely can’t acquire more of the drug until next year. That would further extend the de facto execution ban Fogel put in place in 2006 when he found California’s lethal injection process deeply flawed.
“After a four-year moratorium on executions in California, multiple proceedings in federal court, a state administrative law proceeding, and state court appeals, it is incredible to think that
the deliberative process might be driven by the expiration date of the execution drug,” the court said.

 (©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (3)
  1. Doug says:

    The death penalty is such a joke and puts the victims families in such pain. Ask yourself, Do we really want there to be to be justice? I say YES! but it seems like our society is to scared to dish it out…..or is it guilt???

  2. ginny25 says:

    MSNBC has an article yesterday about the shortage of the drugn Sodium Thiopental, which is the drung that there is a shortage of. Hospira, Inc., in Lake Forest, Il is the only US maker/supplier. This company has said they are against the use of their drug in executions. They also claim that they are having a problem getting one of the primary pieces of the drug and won’t have any until 2011 now. Seems like an excellent, not so subtle way for them to help prevent death sentences from being carried out since are so against it and have put it in many letters to the state officials, etc. Maybe people need to start hammering this company with e-mails, calls, letters.

  3. ginny25 says:

    Sorry for my typos. This website refreshes so often that I am getting tired of having to speed type to get my comment in.

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