A federal judge overseeing constitutional challenges to lethal injection raised by Stockton's Michael Angelo Morales declined Friday to stay Wednesday's scheduled execution of a murderer from Riverside County.
Albert Greenwood Brown Jr., 56, is scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for the rape and murder of 15-year-old Susan Jordan, abducted while walking to school Oct. 28, 1980.
U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel has overseen Morales' case for five years. In January 1981, Morales raped and murdered 17-year-old Terri Lynn Winchell, a Stockton girl and a senior at Tokay High School.
This week Fogel delayed the 50-year-old Stockton man's execution for at least three more months, pending further arguments from attorneys and a personal visit to the state's new lethal-injection chamber.
In an 11-page ruling issued Friday, Fogel said that Brown appealed to his court too late - just days before his scheduled execution date - leaving too little time for a thorough analysis of the facts and legal issues.
"Nonetheless, the court recognizes that there was no legal impediment to the setting of Brown's execution date," Fogel wrote, adding that the state is "entitled to proceed with the execution."
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It was a bad decision by judges that stopped the executions in the first place. The American constitution says nothing about executions of inmates. And if the injections caused the criminal some discomfort, o-well. The important thing is that the families of the victims get justice.