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Execution delay has caused 'profound and unfathomable' distress to victim's family

October 1, 2010 |  7:59 am

This week's delay in the execution of Albert G. Brown Jr. has caused the family of the woman he raped and strangled "profound and unfathomable" distress.

In an e-mail Thursday to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Karen Jordan Brown wrote that "the appeals process in California has proven to be nothing more than a never-ending war of attrition against justice and the rights of victims and their families."

Jordan Brown’s sister, Susan Jordan, 15, was abducted by Albert Brown, who is not related, in 1980 while she walked to Arlington High School in Riverside. Albert Brown then raped and strangled the girl.

He has been on death row since his conviction in 1982 and was scheduled to be put to death Thursday in what would have been California’s first execution in five years.

The execution was put on hold Wednesday, after a week of legal wrangling between Albert Brown’s attorney and the state attorney general’s office over whether a lethal injection should be administered.

At issue was whether the drug used in the lethal injection was about to expire three hours before it was to be used on Albert Brown.

The California Supreme Court faulted the state for seeking to carry out the sentence so close to the drug's expiration date, saying it "contributed to circumstances incompatible with the orderly resolution" of legal issues surrounding the death penalty.

A spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said the agency was seeking fresh supplies of the drug.

Riverside County Dist. Atty. Rod Pacheco, whose office prosecuted Albert Brown, described the postponement as a tragedy for the victim's family.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who rejected a clemency request, said the execution would be rescheduled once the court challenges were resolved.

In her e-mail to the Press-Enterprise, Jordan Brown wrote that the events of the last week have "only tempered our convictions in favor of capital punishment."

-- Sam Quinones