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Order to Show Cause in LA Execution Case

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Today marks a substantial step forward in the effort to restart executions in California and stop the foot-dragging that has held up executions for six years.

As noted in my prior post, the District Attorney of Los Angeles has asked the Superior Court there to order that two murderers, Mitchell Sims and Tiequon Cox, be executed using the single-drug method.  The federal district court hearing the lethal injection litigation has twice determined that California can go ahead if it simply adopts the single-drug method (now in use in Ohio, Washington, and Arizona).  The Administrative Procedure Act does not permit enforcement of the underlying law to be held up by APA litigation.  If the implementing regulation is not valid under the APA, courts must go ahead and direct enforcement.  See Tidewater Marine Western, Inc. v. Bradshaw, 14 Cal. 4th 557, 577 (1996).

Today, the Superior Court issued an order to show cause to CDCR to proceed or show cause why it cannot.

In other action, the LA DA has also moved to intervene in the federal lawsuit of Morales v. Cate, asking the court to modify its previous order to clarify that only three-drug executions are enjoined.

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