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Judge blocks California's first execution in five years

September 28, 2010 |  7:01 pm

Death A federal judge Tuesday blocked the execution of convicted rapist and murderer Albert Greenwood Brown, saying there was “no way” the court could conduct an adequate review of California's new lethal-injection procedures before the death sentence was to be carried out Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel in effect reversed his Friday decision 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.

Earlier Tuesday, Fogel had asked attorneys to weigh in on the state’s new procedures for carrying out lethal injections, including how similar and different they are from the older rules that the judge had previously found to be flawed.

Time has become a crucial factor in whether Brown will be put to death 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 on 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.

-- Carol J. Williams

Photo: Albert Greenwood Brown. Credit: Los Angeles Times