State Releases New Execution Protocol
The state on Thursday released a public version of its new lethal injection protocol that does not require the presence of an anesthesiologist but leaves "major questions unanswered," the Sacramento Bee reports.
Nathan Barankin, chief spokesperson for the attorney general's office, said that "there is no anesthesiologist" called for in the public version or the full protocol. He said he was "unable to say" whether the full protocol calls for other clinical personnel or monitoring equipment to determine an inmate's level of consciousness.
The proposal states that a "person qualified, trained or otherwise authorized by law" would insert two intravenous injection lines through which the lethal drugs are to be administered (Cooper, Sacramento Bee, 3/17).
Some doctors have said continuously infusing the sedative requires constant monitoring by a trained medical professional. However, medical organizations and doctors believe it is unethical for a physician to participate in an execution (California Healthline, 3/13).
U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel on March 30 will visit San Quentin State Prison's execution chamber and take testimony from "relevant witnesses." Fogel will hold a hearing on the new protocol May 2 and 3 (Sacramento Bee, 3/17).