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California prosecutors propose new lethal injection method

[JURIST] In response to a February injunction [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] imposed by US Distict Judge Jeremy Fogel [official profile], California prosecutors Friday proposed altering the combination of sedatives and life-ending drugs used in executions in order to ensure that prisoners do not become conscious or experience "wanton or unnecessary pain" during the process.

The proposal stems from an appeal by California death row inmate Michael Morales [NCADP profile; JURIST news archive], who challenged California's existing lethal injection procedure under the Eighth Amendment [text]. Morales' execution has been delayed indefinitely [JURIST report] after doctors who were required to be present during the execution to ensure that Morales would not suffer excessive pain refused to participate [JURIST report], citing ethics concerns. A full federal court hearing on the constitutionality of the California method scheduled for May 2 will now proceed on the basis of the proposed change. AP has more.

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