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Federal appeals court orders new hearing for San Quentin inmate sentenced to death

September 27, 2010 | 11:24 pm

A federal appeals court in San Francisco late Monday ordered a trial judge to reconsider a ruling that allowed for a convicted murderer and rapist to be executed this week at San Quentin State Prison.

Albert Greenwood Brown was scheduled to be executed at 9 p.m. Thursday for the 1980 killing of a 15-year-old Riverside County girl.

But the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said that a U.S. district court judge erred by offering Brown a choice of being executed with a one-drug lethal injection or a three-drug cocktail.

"The district court's decision to provide Brown the choice of a one-drug option is not consistent with California state law and procedures. California law does not provide the condemned a choice between a three-drug protocol or a one-drug option," the ruling said.

The appeals court ordered the judge to consider whether Brown is entitled to stay of his execution.

-- Robert J. Lopez