A growing number of prosecutors, law enforcement officials, and capital punishment proponents are pushing for the quick resumption of executions in California, citing the defeat of Proposition 34 as a mandate from the voters, the Associated Press reports. They’re calling for an end-run around legal hang ups, including scrapping the three-drug lethal injection at the center of the litigation and replacing it with a single-drug execution.
Six other states have abandoned the three-drug process and adopted the single-drug execution. In recent months, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley and San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe have asked judges for death warrants for three inmates and an order to execute them with a single, lethal dose of pentobarbital, a drug previously used to euthanize animals. Fourteen death row inmates have exhausted their appeals, but judges have ordered a halt to executions. Prison officials spent nearly $1 million to construct a new lethal injection facility that looks and feels like a high-tech hospital room, replacing the dark and decades-old gas chamber that was used in the past.