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California calls off Brown execution

September 29, 2010 |  4:25 pm

State officials called off the scheduled execution of a convicted murderer Wednesday, hours after the California Supreme Court intervened in the case and made it all but impossible to carry out the death sentence.

The attorney general’s office had begun the day by asking a federal appeals court to allow the execution of Albert Greenwood Brown Jr. to proceed but later asked the court to dismiss the request. Brown had been scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection at 9  p.m. Thursday.

“A new execution date will be sought in accordance with applicable law and in conformity with all court orders,” said Christine Gasparac, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.

Death The high court said a separate challenge of the state's protocol for lethal injection remains pending, and the state cannot proceed until that is resolved. That challenge was brought by other death row inmates in Marin County Superior Court.

The ruling is the latest twist in a legal showdown over the carrying out of Brown's death sentence. Time has become a crucial factor in whether he will be executed this year.

The attorney general's office has said that the state's supply of a key drug that renders condemned prisoners unconscious will expire Friday, and that further executions would have to wait until at least next year, when new supplies are expected.

Brown was convicted of raping and killing a 15-year-old Riverside girl in 1980.

-- Jack Leonard in Los Angeles and Maura Dolan in San Francisco

Photo: Albert Greenwood Brown Jr. Credit: Riverside County Sheriff's Department