California sets new execution guidelines
May 16,2007 00:00 by UPI

SACRAMENTO - California corrections officials, in response to a court challenge that has halted executions, unveiled a new protocol for administering lethal injections.

Executions in California stopped 15 months ago on an appeal by inmate Michael Morales, who alleged the three-chemical intravenous process could result in "cruel and unusual" physical punishment.

Tuesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's legal affairs secretary, Andrea Hoch, and James Tilton, director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, unveiled the proposal that slightly alters the amounts of the three drugs used and heightens oversight and administration of the drugs, The Los Angeles Times reported.

About 37 states used the three-drug system that involves administering a sedative to induce unconsciousness followed by the paralytic pancurium bromide and finally potassium chloride, which stops the heart.

However, in a statement, one of Morales' defense team said the proposal "still fails to conform to the standards for euthanasia of animals established by the American Veterinary Medical Association," the Times reported.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.