The California Supreme Court on Wednesday dealt the latest blow to the state's effort to execute a condemned inmate.
The court unanimously refused to accommodate the state's timeline for executing Albert Greenwood Brown by suspending its own rules or speeding up its process for reviewing how the prison system adopted new execution regulations.
This comes after a federal judge stayed Brown's execution on different grounds.
The Supreme Court, in an order (pdf) issued Wednesday afternoon, put the blame squarely on the state, which has acknowledged it's on the clock because a key execution drug is set to expire Friday.
"The state represents that unless, by these extraordinary means outside our normal rules, we remove the obstacle the [Marin County Superior Court] 2007 injunction presents to Brown's scheduled execution at 9 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2010, the state will likely be unable to execute Brown, or any other condemned inmate, during this year," the order says.
It goes on to say: "By choosing an execution date for Brown of Sept. 29, 2010, with presumptive knowledge that it faced the imminent loss of an essential ingredient to the execution on Oct. 1, 2010, the state has itself contributed to circumstances incompatible with the orderly resolution, pursuant to normal procedures, of pending legal issues in connection with executions under the new regulations."