A death row inmate has asked a federal appeals court to halt his execution and has refused to choose a method of lethal injection.
Lawyers for Albert Greenwood Brown filed court papers Sunday saying he is appealing a federal court judge's refusal to block his execution, which is scheduled for Wednesday. Brown also declined to choose between a one-drug lethal injection or execution by a three-drug cocktail. Brown's refusal to choose means a three-drug cocktail will be used if the appeals court doesn't block California's first execution in nearly five years.
The ruling was made by U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel of San Jose who on Friday denied a stay and on Saturday refused to reconsider his decision.
Fogel is presiding over a 2006 civil rights lawsuit that claims the three-drug protocol risks causing unconstitutional extreme pain. Sodium thiopental alone can be lethal if used in increased doses and is not considered to be painful. The single-drug procedure has been used in nine executions in Ohio and Washington state
Brown also plans Monday to ask a Marin County Superior Court judge to block his execution while a recently filed lawsuit challenging the state's lethal injection regulations is pending.
While the usual legal and poltiical issues swirl around this case, Brown's personal story leaves for little sympathy. He raped and killed 15-year-old Susan Jordan in 1980 as she walked home from school in Riverside County. She was strangled to death and her body was found in an orange grove.
On the day he killed Susan he also made several calls to her mother taunting her with messages that she would never see her daughter alive again.
"I have not forgotten that cruel, chilling phone call in which you so proudly made the statement, 'You will never see your daughter alive again,"' the girl's mother wrote in a letter used in the appeals. "It was then that God revealed to me that I would indeed see my daughter again, and I eagerly await that day."
Prosecutors say he has never expressed remorse.