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Lawyer John Grele talks about the death penalty Wednesday during a forum... (IJ photo/Jeff Vendsel)
The lawyer who helped put California's death penalty on hold said he believes the state may not be able to fix its method of lethal injection without recognizing the technique is inhumane.

In a panel discussion before the Marin County Bar Association on Wednesday, lawyer John Grele said the state continues to rely on a method of execution less humane than the chemicals veterinarians use to euthanize dogs and cats.

While doctors put animals "to sleep" using a single chemical, corrections officials use a combination of three to execute criminals. One of these chemicals, pancuronium bromide, is a paralyzing agent, which stops all muscle movement except the heart. Grele, who represents death row prisoner Michael Angelos Morales, has argued that use of the drug makes it difficult to tell whether prisoners are in pain during their execution.

"Applying a paralytic prevents us from seeing the death, so we can't tell whether the inmate is suffering," Grele said. "That takes away our ability to see what we have decided to do as a society."

In response to those arguments, a federal judge has ordered California to conduct a thorough review of its lethal injection methods. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said the state will present a