LETHAL INJECTION: Latest Court Ruling Continues Suspension of Executions in California

On May 30, California’s First District Court of Appeals upheld a Superior Court ruling that found the state’s lethal injection protocol invalid because the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation failed to comply with the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act. A spokesman for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said that no decision has been made on whether the ruling will be appealed to the California Supreme Court or if the department will propose a new lethal injection method. California has not had an execution since 2006, partly because questions related to the method of execution and the overall fairness of the system. It has the largest death row in the country, with more than 700 inmates facing execution. The costs of the death penalty are also likely to play a prominent role in its future in the state. Natasha Minsker, who led efforts to repeal California’s death penalty in 2012, said, “Any effort to resume executions will cost hundreds of thousands of public dollars and take years, with an extremely limited chance of success.”

(M. Dolan, “Ruling, red tape are a setback for California executions,” Los Angeles Times, May 31, 2013.) See Lethal Injection.