California Holds Off on Executions for 6th Year

San Quentin warden asks for time to replace execution team
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2011 3:21 AM CDT
The new lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison has never been used.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

(Newser) – Officials in California have given up on efforts to resume executing convicts this year, meaning that the state will have gone at least 6 years without executions. A review of lethal injection procedures has been delayed until at least January because the new warden of San Quentin prison wants to recruit a new 20-person execution team to replace the one that was assembled and trained last year, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Gov. Jerry Brown has scrapped plans to build a new $356 million death-row facility, and the nationwide shortage of execution drugs is likely to be yet another obstacle that will prevent the state from resuming executions. California has the largest death row in the nation, with 713 inmates. But only 13 convicts have been executed since capital punishment was reinstated in 1978. During the same period, 78 condemned men have died from suicide, prison violence, or natural causes.

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