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State’s Death Penalty Law Hits Two Road Blocks

Sacramento, CA – State officials proposals to carry out the death penalty sentence have been rejected and a voter approved measure has been put on hold.

On Wednesday, the state Office of Administrative Law, in a one-page notice, informed the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation it had rejected the department’s new proposal to execute death row inmates. The plan to use one of four different drugs or the gas chamber does not meet procedural requirements, according to the law office. However, the notice does not spell out the reasons why. Instead, the agency says it will give the department a written explanation within seven days.

Corrections officials submitted the plan in November prompted by court pressure and due to a nationwide shortage of execution drugs. Although the state hasn’t executed anyone since 2006, currently 750 condemned inmates remain on the nation’s largest death row.

Additionally, earlier this week the California Supreme Court stopped the implementation of voter-approved Proposition 66, which is intended to speed up the appeals process for death row inmates. The court put the measure on hold to give the court time to consider a lawsuit challenging the measure that argues the law would disrupt the courts, cost more money and limit the ability to mount proper appeals.

Supporters of the measure counter that the lawsuit is a frivolous stall tactic. California voters cast ballots on two death penalty measures in the November election. They rejected a measure to abolish the death penalty and narrowly approved Proposition 66.