A federal judge Tuesday morning asked the attorney general’s office and lawyers for convicted murderer Albert Greenwood Brown Jr. to file paperwork within six hours explaining whether the state should be allowed to execute Brown on Thursday.
The request came after the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel to reconsider an earlier order in which he rejected Brown’s request to halt the execution.
Fogel asked the attorneys to weigh in on the state’s new procedures for carrying out lethal injections, including how similar and different they are from the older rules that Fogel previously ruled were flawed. Lawyers have until early Thursday afternoon to file their arguments.
However, time is of the essence since the expiration date for the drug sodium thiopental which the state uses for the lethal injections is Friday. And, after this date no more of this drug will be available until sometime in the first quarter of 2011.
Albert Greenwood Brown, the next to die under California Death Penalty law?
A federal appeals court in San Francisco late Monday ordered a trial judge to reconsider a ruling that allowed for a convicted murderer and rapist to be executed this week at San Quentin State Prison.
Albert Greenwood Brown was scheduled to die at 9 p.m. Thursday for the 1980 killing of a 15-year-old Riverside girl.
But the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel erred by offering Brown a choice of a one-drug lethal injection or a three-drug cocktail.
“The district court’s decision to provide Brown the choice of a one-drug option is not consistent with California state law and procedures. California law does not provide the condemned a choice between a three-drug protocol or a one-drug option,” the ruling said.
The appeals court ordered the judge to schedule a new hearing.
The court’s order came hours after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered a one-day delay in Brown’s execution, citing a procedural complication in the state’s attempt to carry out its first death sentence in nearly five years.
The governor’s reprieve coincided with an announcement by the attorney general’s office that further lethal-injection sentences in California would have to wait until at least next year due to a nationwide shortage of the key drug used to render condemned prisoners unconscious.
And, now there is another impediment to California executions – the availability of the drug, sodium thiopental. How cute and convenient.
Jerry Brown, the California Attorney General who is personally opposed to the death penalty and who appointed the later recalled Rose Bird as Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court who let a number of infamous criminals live when her court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional decades ago is now entrusted with enforcing the death penalty law.
Good luck with the California death penalty law being enforced with Jerry Brown as Attorney General. If Brown is elected governor in November, look for more anti-death penalty Supreme Court Justices to be appointed, as well.
Also, note the company who makes sodium thiopental is having some difficulty with its product being used for legal executions.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation “has been unable to secure sodium thiopental to perform any executions after Sept. 30,” said attorney general spokeswoman Christine Gasparac. “This office will recommend that future executions be scheduled when [the corrections department] expects the drug to be available.”
The drug manufacturer, Hospira Inc. of Lake Forest, Ill., blamed the shortage on a third-party supplier’s failure to provide the crucial pharmaceutical ingredient for its pentothal product. The company said it expected to have more available in the first quarter of 2011. But a spokesman also reiterated the company’s objections to their product being used in executions.
“Hospira manufactures this product because it improves or saves lives, and the company markets it solely for use as indicated on the product labeling. The drug is not indicated for capital punishment, and Hospira does not support its use in this procedure,” said spokesman Daniel Rosenberg, adding that the company informed corrections departments of its position earlier this year.
Death penalty opponents cannot change California law so they subvert the legal process to get their way.
What a travesty of justice.
There will not be any executions in California now until at least the first quarter of next year – if then.