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Court Ruling Could Open Door For California Executions to Resume

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Aired 4/19/09

Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on lethal injection could open the door for California to resume executions. That’s because California uses the same three-drug cocktail the high court upheld in the Kentucky case. The ruling allows a separate death penalty case in California to now move forward.

U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel sided in favor of death row inmate Michael Morales in 2006 that the state’s lethal injection protocol was unconstitutional.

Corrections spokesman Seth Unger says the case has been on hold pending the Supreme Court decision.

Unger : The next step in California will be for a status conference to be scheduled where the judge could set a timeline for moving forward with the case here in California.

Unger says there was a status conference in the case scheduled for June -- but that could be moved up, given the Supreme Court development.

Judge Fogel also found California’s lethal injection chamber was too small and cramped. The state recently finished building a new one.

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