SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- The California Supreme Court Wednesday blocked the execution of a convicted rapist-murderer man over the state's method of injecting a lethal drug dose.
The high court said the execution of Albert Greenwood Brown could not proceed until a challenge of California's lethal injection protocol in another case is resolved, the Los Angeles Times reported. The other challenge was brought in Marin County Superior Court in a case involving other death row inmates, the newspaper said.
A spokesman for California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who is not related to the inmate, said the state has called off the execution and will reschedule it when possible.
"A new execution date will be sought in accordance with applicable law and in conformity with all court orders," spokeswoman Christine Gasparac said.
U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel had ruled Friday the state could execute the 56-year-old death row inmate Wednesday for raping and strangling 15-year-old Susan Jordan in Riverside 30 years ago. But on Monday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pushed the execution back one day to give defense attorneys time to exhaust all appeals, and then an appellate court ordered Fogel to revisit his ruling in view of the state's new lethal injections protocols.
Fogel then blocked the execution temporarily, saying he could not review the case properly before the sentence date.
Adding another layer of complexity, the state attorney general's office determined that after Friday, no lethal injection executions could be carried out for the rest of the year because the supply of one of three drugs used in the procedure is about to run out. New supplies are expected to be available in 2011, the newspaper said.
Fogel halted an execution in 2006, ruling the state's procedure for lethal injection was flawed and violated the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.