Schwarzenegger proposes new California death penalty protocol

Schwarzenegger proposes new California death penalty protocol

[JURIST] California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger [official website] submitted a capital punishment proposal [report, PDF; fact sheet] Tuesday in an effort to persuade US District Judge Jeremy Fogel to lift a moratorium on executions in the state. The proposal includes the construction of a new execution chamber [materials] and a revised protocol [PDF text] on the procedure for lethal injections in the state. Speaking on the plan, Schwarzenegger said [press release] that he is "committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure that the lethal injection process is constitutional so the will of the people is upheld."

In December, Schwarzenegger ordered [JURIST report] his administration to "correct court-identified deficiencies in California's lethal injection protocol to ensure the death penalty procedure is constitutional" after a federal court issued a memorandum of intended decision [JURIST report] concluding that California's lethal injection [JURIST news archive] procedure creates "an undue and unnecessary risk" of cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment [text] of the US Constitution. The memorandum came after the execution of Michael Morales was postponed indefinitely [JURIST report] in February 2006 when a court ruling held that medical professionals must monitor executions by lethal injection to be sure that the inmate feels no pain. The ruling imposed a virtual moratorium on executions in California [JURIST report] as anesthesiologists refused to take part [JURIST report] in the execution. AP has more.