Death Penalty

Court Rulings Stall California Executions Indefinitely

The price tag is rising, too


SAN FRANCISCO — California may be stymied for years to come in its efforts to resume executions as a result of a new court ruling, bureaucratic requirements and difficulty obtaining lethal injection drugs, advocates on both sides of the death penalty said Friday.

Supporters of capital punishment urged Gov. Brown to challenge a state appeals court's unanimous decision against California's lethal injection protocol, even though an appeal could take years. They also called on the governor to introduce a new single-drug execution method for public vetting.

"This should be attacked on every front," said Kent S. Scheidigger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation. "We have had justice held up for a preposterous seven years now."

Opponents of the death penalty expressed doubt the state could ever restart the death chamber at San Quentin State Prison.