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State Senator Introduces Death Penalty Reform Bills

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, February 11, 2010
A State Senator has introduced a bill that would change how lethal injections are given to death row inmates. 

Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports...
Orange County Republican Senator Tom Harman says his bill offers a “smart and simple solution” to constitutional concerns surrounding lethal injections. 

His measure would remove two of the three chemicals used. Harman says it requires future executions to be carried out with a single lethal dose of anesthesia...  
Harman:   “According to medical experts this procedure removes any risk of the inmate experiencing pain or suffering. The change will eliminate cruel or unusual punishment concerns...”
Executions have been on hold in California since 2006. 

That’s when a death row inmate challenged the constitutionality of the so-called three-drug cocktail. 

Harman has also introduced two other bills intended to speed up the appeals process.

One would require the state to hire more attorneys for capital punishment appeals. 

The other would allow the State Supreme Court to directly transfer death appeals to the Superior Court. 

Currently, there are about 700 inmates on California’s Death Row.
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