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Calif. considers single-drug executions

April 28, 2012 at 1:39 AM

SACRAMENTO, April 28 (UPI) -- California has appealed a judge's order that bars the state from using its three-drug protocol for executions.

In court papers filed Thursday, Attorney General Kamala Harris said Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered prison officials to review using a single drug to put inmates to death, the Los Angeles Times reported. She said the state is considering the single-drug protocol because of the possibility one of the drugs in the three-drug cocktail will no longer be available.

Voters will get the chance this November to decide on a referendum that would abolish the death penalty in California.

The California Criminal Justice Legal Foundation sued the state, arguing inmates executed using the three-drug protocol may suffer severe pain. Kurt Scheidegger, the legal director, said at least three states now use large doses of one drug, pentobarbital.

Harris refused to comment on the legal action. Brown released a brief statement saying, "My administration is working to ensure that California's laws on capital punishment are upheld."

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