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Execution Delayed Indefinitely in California

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Execution Delayed Indefinitely in California

Law

Execution Delayed Indefinitely in California

Execution Delayed Indefinitely in California

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California officials have postponed indefinitely the execution of condemned killer Michael Morales. Prison authorities called off the execution after failing to find a medical professional willing to administer the fatal drug dose.

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

Judy Campbell, of member station KQED reports.

JUDY CAMPBELL: San Quentin spokesperson Vernell Crittendon.

VERNELL CRITTENDON: We were not able to find any licensed medical professionals that were willing to inject medication intravenously ending a life of a human being.

CAMPBELL: President of the California Medical Association Michael Sexton says doctors have been put in an unfair position.

MICHAEL SEXTON: Physicians are healers; we're not executioners. So that's the fundamental line. To participate in capital punishment, if you're a physician, is a violation of the most fundamental ethical principles we hold.

CAMPBELL: Opponents of the death penalty, like Lance Lindsey(ph), with Death Penalty Focus, say personalizing the execution in this way could convince the public to get rid of the death penalty.

LANCE LINDSEY: It extends the debate around the immorality of the death penalty. It broadens the base of those leaders and professionals who are now being called to assist the government in killing prisoners.

CAMPELL: For NPR News, I'm Judy Campbell, in San Francisco.

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