Calif. Prosecutors Push for Execution Dates

Monday, 10 Sep 2012 01:32 PM

By Alec Weisman

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Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley is leading a fight to force the state to resume executions after being obstructed by legal challenges for almost seven years.
 
Cooley, a Republican, is becoming increasingly frustrated with California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris, who some believe have done little to overturn state and federal court orders that froze executions because of flaws in the state's  three-drug execution procedures, according to the Contra Costa Times.
 
A Los Angeles judge was expected to review the latest round of Cooley’s arguments today, as he attempts to secure execution dates for condemned killers Mitchell Sims and Tiequon Cox. Cooley is urging the state to adopt a single-drug execution procedure similar to those used Arizona, Ohio, and Washington in order to sidestep the legal obstacles.
 
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe has also joined in Cooley's effort to pressure state authorities by asking a local judge to set an execution date for Robert Green Fairbank, on death row for the 1985 murder of a San Francisco woman.
 
California voters, meanwhile, will consider a referendum on the November ballot calling for an end to the death penalty for the first time since it was reinstated in 1978. At the moment, more 720 inmates remain on death row in California.

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