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State attorney general seeks federal order to execute rapist-murderer

September 29, 2010 | 12:07 pm

The California attorney general’s office asked a federal appeals court Wednesday morning to issue a writ that would clear the way for the state’s first execution in more than four years.

State lawyers argued in their brief that U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel should not have halted the execution of Albert Greenwood Brown Jr. in order to properly review the state’s new lethal-injection procedures.

The attorney general’s office said Brown’s attorneys failed to show any evidence that the state’s new procedures for lethal injections would cause a condemned prisoner severe pain and noted that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled two years ago that similar procedures used for executions in Kentucky were constitutional.

Brown, who was convicted of the 1980 rape and murder of a 15-year-old Riverside girl, was scheduled to be executed at 9 p.m. Thursday at San Quentin State Prison.

A federal judge Tuesday had ordered a halt to the execution, saying there was "no way" the court could conduct a proper review of new lethal injection procedures before the scheduled execution.

Fogel reversed a decision he handed down Friday that the execution could go forward if the state gave Brown the option of dying by a single-injection method used in other states, rather than the three-drug cocktail prescribed by California's new regulations.

A federal appeals court returned the case to Fogel late Monday, saying he had "erred" in offering Brown an execution method unauthorized in this state. 

-- Jack Leonard