D'Opal criticized the state for ignoring many requirements of the law on revising official procedures, saying that officials failed even to explain why they rejected the one-drug method.

The last execution in the state was in January 2006, when 76-year-old Clarence Ray Allen was put to death. A month later, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel halted the scheduled lethal injection of convicted murderer Michael A. Morales because of concerns that some of the 13 men put to death in California since 1978 may have experienced excessive pain.

The Practical Buddhist Reacts

Mitchell Sims is one of over 700 men who have exhausted all appeals. It took him 24 years to do so. Now all the separates him from being ritualistically killed is a technicality. More and more Americans now realize executions are barbaric and pointless. They don't deter, they are racially inequitable, and they cost years of work and millions of dollars. Other civilized countries have dropped the practice long ago. Even if executions were timely, evenly applied, humane, and effective as a deterrent, they would still be wrong.  No religion today has a developed theology that supports our form of capital punishment.  Sure, fanatics find proof texts in ancient scriptures, like the Old Testament's death by stoning for adultery, but Jesus reformed all that 2000 years ago. Thou Shalt Not Kill is a central tenet of modern Judaism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism, even if weasel theologians can come up with exceptions for Oil Wars and executions.