California cancels first execution in 4 years

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AP Photo/California Department of Corrections

In this June 2007 photo released by the California Department of Corrections is condemned inmate Albert Greenwood Brown. Brown is scheduled to die at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif., for the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Riverside County girl abducted on her way home from school in 1980.

Late Wednesday California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation canceled the execution of condemned inmate Albert Brown, after California’s Supreme Court weighed in.

Inmate Albert Brown was scheduled to die by lethal injection. A jury convicted him for the rape and murder of a teenage girl in Riverside 30 years ago.

To carry out his execution California officials needed the state supreme court to lift a Marin County court’s injunction against executions one day early.

But the state’s highest judges refused.

That meant the earliest prison officials could execute Brown would have been Friday – three hours after California’s only supply of a lethal injection drug expires.

The ruling follows just a day after U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled to stay Brown’s execution.

The federal judge who halted California executions four years ago, over concerns that the state’s injection method caused too much pain, wants more time to review the state’s new execution procedures. That judge also wants to inspect a new death chamber at San Quentin.

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