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Execution Protocols and Bureaucracy

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Don Thompson reports for AP that California's Office of Administrative Law has once again rejected the state's proposed new execution protocol.  Why do these bureaucrats have any say in the matter anyway?

"This is stupid," said Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation that sued to force the new rules. Since the regulations must be approved by state and federal judges anyway, he said, "this additional layer of bureaucracy is completely unnecessary."

That's why death penalty supporters ended the role of the Office of Administrative Law in Proposition 66, the ballot measure that voters approved in November, he said.

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The regulatory office similarly rejected an earlier proposal in December. It said in a brief decision Monday that some of those same issues remain unresolved.

However, the state Supreme Court in August upheld Proposition 66 ending the requirement that prison officials receive approval from state regulators. Death penalty opponents asked the judges to reconsider it with a Nov. 22 deadline, but Scheidegger expects the justices to uphold their earlier ruling.

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