LETHAL INJECTION: California Abandons Defense of Its Execution Procedures

On June 10, California announced it would no longer try to defend its current lethal injection protocol.  In May, a court ruling invalidated the state’s three-drug lethal injection protocol because state officials failed to follow administrative rules in adopting the protocol. Governor Jerry Brown and other officials will instead proceed with developing a single-drug lethal injection protocol similar to those adopted recently in states like Ohio, Arizona, and Washington. California has the largest death row in the United States with more than 725 inmates. The state has not carried out an execution since 2006 because of legal problems with its three-drug lethal injection protocol. Executions are unlikely to resume immediately since it could take a year or longer to approve the new single-drug protocol. Even if the single-drug method is approved, the state could face the additional challenge of securing supplies of the drugs because manufacturers object to their use in lethal injections.

(H. Mintz, "California abandons defense of three-drug executions," San Jose Mercury News, July 11, 2013).  See Lethal Injection.