Saturday, 24 February 2007

Judge Refuses Gov’s Request For Lethal Injection Secrecy

Judge Refuses Gov's Request For Lethal Injection Secrecy

A federal judge Friday refused to grant a request by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's office for a broad order that could have shrouded in secrecy the process of developing California's new lethal injection procedure.

The Schwarzenegger administration filed a motion last month seeking to keep its formulation of a new lethal injection procedure confidential. "The review of the lethal injection procedure will require frank debate and candid consideration of policy alternatives," according to the motion.

Fogel ruled California's lethal injection procedure unconstitutional after a challenge by attorneys for condemned killer Michael Morales. Morales, 46, was sentenced to death in 1983 for the 1981 rape and murder of Lodi teenager Terri Winchell.

He was mere hours away from execution in February 2006 when Fogel effectively halted all executions in California because of concerns about the state's lethal injection procedure. Since then a total of 11 states have put a hold on lethal injection executions because of concerns about the Constitutionality of the procedure.

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