REGIONAL: $182,000 APPROVED FOR CONSTRUCTION OF LETHAL INJECTION FACILITY
09/03/07 11:15 PDT
The state Legislature has approved an additional $182,000 for San Quentin's new lethal injection facility, according to the California Department of Corrections.
The new lethal injection site, separate from San Quentin's $336.5 million death row overhaul, began in March as a minor capital outlay project, a designation that allows for projects under $400,000 to bypass the state Legislature, Department of Corrections spokesman Seth Unger said.
Construction of the facility was halted in March because of budget disagreements between the Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, according to Unger. The lethal injection project went above $400,000 and needed approval from state legislators, he said.
"I have directed the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to stop construction of this project," Schwarzenegger said in March. "My staff has briefed the Legislature and will work cooperatively with them as we address the court's concerns on lethal injection in California."
U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel, who placed a 2006 moratorium on lethal injections in California because of concerns regarding alleged cruelty, made plans to view the new capital punishment site after its completion, Unger said.
Fogel initiated the statewide ban on lethal injections after finding California's lethal injection practices to be deficient, Unger said, and the new facility hopes to address those problems.
The judge will decide on the case that lead him to the ban and perhaps lift the moratorium when he sees the new facility in October, Unger said.
There are 667 inmates on death row at San Quentin.