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California Death Penalty On Hold


Aired 4/19/09

Tom Fudge: California has a long and very complex relationship with its ultimate punishment, the death penalty. Our state has hundreds of people on death row. But it typically takes decades for death penalty cases to work their way to an execution date. The death penalty has been thrown out. It’s been reinstated. And just last week it was suspended by a judge.

Federal Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled in a case involving Michael Morales, who has been condemned to die. The defendant was found guilty of the brutal murder of Lodi teenager Terri Winchell more than 20 years ago. But in this case, Judge Fogel said California’s system of lethal injection amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. But he has given the state some time to reform its practice to meet higher standards.


  • Bryan Liang , law professor at California Western School of Law, where he is the director of the school’s Institute of Health Law Studies. He is also an associate professor of anesthesiology at the UCSD School of Medicine.

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