When the California Supreme Court upheld a voter initiative in August to speed up executions, some death penalty advocates assumed lethal injections would resume before the end of the year.
Three months after the court’s action, both backers and opponents of the death penalty concede that executions might be more than a year away.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has yet to finalize an execution protocol, which is necessary to resolve a federal court case that has blocked lethal injection in California for nearly 12 years. An injunction stopping executions also is pending in state court.
“Brown is the shot caller” in the litigation over lethal injection, said Michele Hanisee, president of the Assn. of Deputy District Attorneys for L.A. County.
Hanisee expects the state to finalize a lethal injection protocol by January, but if Brown “doesn’t want it to move forward quickly, it won’t move forward quickly,” she said.