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California Executions Remain On Hold For This Year

Publication Date: 
May 04, 2011
Source: 
San Jose Mercury News
Author: 
Howard Mintz

Lecturer and U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel is quoted by Howard Mintz of the San Jose Mercury News on how the postponement of the state's case on lethal injection procedures may be weighing on the public.

California will go yet another year without an execution on the largest death row in the nation.

The ongoing legal challenge to the state's lethal injection procedures will not be completed this year, resulting in further delays in the ability of state officials to carry out executions at San Quentin state prison.

Lawyers for the state and for death row inmates revealed during a conference with a federal judge last week that they will not be ready for a hearing in the case until at least December, according to a transcript of the proceeding released Monday.

...

"Frankly, the public looks at this and they say, well, why aren't there any executions?" Fogel told the lawyers at the conference. "All they know is that it is taking five years to get closure in this case."

Fogel more than four years ago found California's execution procedures rife with problems and effectively put executions on hold. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration responded with new procedures, including building a new death chamber and upgrading training for execution team members, but those procedures got entangled in a separate legal battle in the state courts.