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Michael Angelo Morales
Michael Angelo Morales
UNITED STATES. CALIFORNIA HOLDS OFF MORALES EXECUTION

February 22, 2006: the US state of California has cancelled the execution of Michael Morales over ethical issues surrounding the lethal injection method. The state told courts it could not comply with an order for a medical professional to administer a lethal dose of barbiturate to Morales. Morales was convicted of the rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl in 1981.
But his execution had been delayed by debate over a new lethal injection procedure aimed at minimising pain. The execution had initially been scheduled for 12:01 am on February 21 in San Quentin Prison near San Francisco.
Lawyers for Morales had successfully called for anaesthesiologists to be present during the execution, arguing that he would suffer extreme pain because of the mix of drugs in the three-part injection.
But the two court-appointed doctors withdrew, causing it to be delayed.
They had objected to a court ruling which ordered them to intervene in the event that Morales woke up or appeared to be in pain, calling the ruling "ethically unacceptable".
US medical bodies have opposed anaesthesiologists' participation in executions.
Prison officials then rescheduled the execution for later in the day at 7:30 pm. They had planned to use a fatal dose of barbiturate - a sedative - instead of the three-drug cocktail. A judge approved the plan, but said the drug had to be administered by a medical professional licensed to inject medications intravenously.
But a spokeswoman for the federal courts said that the state had told them it was unable to comply with the order for a medical professional to administer the dose and the execution had been indefinitely postponed.
The lethal injection process will be reviewed in the coming months to examine concerns it might cause such levels of pain it would be unconstitutional.
"We are really relieved to see we will now have a careful review of the issues," said Natasha Minsker, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union.
But the mother of Terri Witchell, Morales' victim, said she was "totally disillusioned" at the turn of events.
"We've been waiting 25 years with the expectancy that he is gonna pay for his crimes," said Barbara Christian.
"It feels like we just got punched in the stomach." (Sources: BBC News, 22/02/2006)

BANGLADESH. 22 MILITANTS SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR BOMBINGS
PENNSYLVANIA. JUDGE BARS EXECUTION, CITES MENTAL ILLNESS
UNITED STATES. DEATH SENTENCES IN 2005 REACHED RECORD LOW
CHINA. PROVINCE TAPS THIEVES WITH EXECUTION
YEMEN. MAN EXECUTED FOR US MISSIONARY KILLINGS
CHINA. 8,000 EXECUTIONS EVERY YEAR, SCHOLAR AT THE ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
VIETNAM. LAOS MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
AFGHANISTAN. COURT SENTENCES FORMER SPY CHIEF TO DEATH
CHINA. DEATH PENALTY CASES TO BE HEARD IN OPEN COURT
IRAN. MAN HANGED FOR RAPE
CHINA. TWO TAIWANESE EXECUTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
THE PHILIPPINES. ARROYO: I'LL WORK TO SCRAP DEATH PENALTY
UNITED STATES. SUPREME COURT REJECTS NEW ALIBI EVIDENCE AT SENTENCING
ARIZONA, US. LAWMAKERS APOLOGIZE TO THE 100TH PERSON FREED FROM DEATH ROW
HANDS OFF CAIN. STOP WITH THE HYPOCRISY OF THE HUMANENESS OF LETHAL INJECTION
PAKISTAN. 11 MEN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT
SOUTH KOREA. JUSTICE MINISTRY TO RECONSIDER DEATH PENALTY
TURKEY. PROTOCOL NO. 13 RATIFIED
JAPAN. CULT LEADER FIT TO APPEAL AGAINST DEATH SENTENCE
IRAN. 22-YEAR-OLD MAN HANGED IN PRISON
IRAN. EXECUTION OF MINORS TO CONTINUE
VIETNAM. PRESIDENT COMMUTES DEATH SENTENCES OF TWO AUSTRALIANS
IRAN. TWO MEN EXECUTED IN SOUTHERN CITY
ITALY. HOC PRESENTS REPORT ON HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN IRAN AND APPEAL TO SAVE NAZANIN
RUSSIA. BESLAN SUSPECT'S LAWYER APPEALS FOR 'FAIR' SENTENCE AMID CALLS FOR EXECUTION
CALIFORNIA, USA. CALIFORNIA TURNS TO MEDICS FOR NEXT EXECUTION
JORDAN. NINE SENTENCED TO DEATH IN TERROR PLOT
IRAN. 15-YEAR-OLD SCHOOLBOY SENTENCED TO DEATH
THE PHILIPPINES. PRESIDENT COMMUTES 280 DEATH SENTENCES
TEXAS, USA. TEXAS CARRIES OUT ITS FOURTH EXECUTION OF THE YEAR

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