Prosecutors in Los Angeles and San Mateo counties have gone to court seeking to carry out the delayed executions of three Death Row inmates.
Defense attorneys and death-penalty foes oppose them.
Arguments in favor from district attorneys and criminal justice groups: California has the ability right now to execute inmates with a single drug, avoiding legal tangles of three-drug lethal injection procedure. There are exceptions in state regulations that allow individual judges to order the California Department of Corrections to carry out executions in individual cases. The federal appeals court that covers California has already allowed single drug executions to proceed in Arizona and Washington.
Arguments against from death penalty opponents and lawyers for death row inmates: Federal and state courts have injunctions blocking California from carrying out executions. State prison officials have not won approval of a single-drug execution method. Individual trial judges do not have the legal authority to override higher courts and order state to execute death row inmates.
Howard Mintz covers legal affairs. Contact him at 408-286-0236 or follow him at Twitter.com/hmintz