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Schwarzenegger proposes new California death penalty protocol

[JURIST] California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger [official website] submitted a capital punishment proposal [report, PDF; fact sheet] Tuesday in an effort to persuade US District Judge Jeremy Fogel to lift a moratorium on executions in the state. The proposal includes the construction of a new execution chamber [materials] and a revised protocol [PDF text] on the procedure for lethal injections in the state. Speaking on the plan, Schwarzenegger said [press release] that he is "committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure that the lethal injection process is constitutional so the will of the people is upheld."

In December, Schwarzenegger ordered [JURIST report] his administration to "correct court-identified deficiencies in California's lethal injection protocol to ensure the death penalty procedure is constitutional" after a federal court issued a memorandum of intended decision [JURIST report] concluding that California's lethal injection [JURIST news archive] procedure creates "an undue and unnecessary risk" of cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment [text] of the US Constitution. The memorandum came after the execution of Michael Morales was postponed indefinitely [JURIST report] in February 2006 when a court ruling held that medical professionals must monitor executions by lethal injection to be sure that the inmate feels no pain. The ruling imposed a virtual moratorium on executions in California [JURIST report] as anesthesiologists refused to take part [JURIST report] in the execution. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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