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California Regulators Reject New Lethal Injection Method

SACRAMENTO (AP) -- California state regulators for the second time have rejected a proposed new method of carrying out the death penalty, although they could soon be overruled by a voter-approved initiative.

The new regulations rejected on Monday would have allowed condemned inmates to be executed using one of two powerful barbiturates. Inmates could also still choose the gas chamber.

The Office of Administrative Law similarly rejected an earlier proposal in December.

However, the state Supreme Court in August upheld a voter-approved initiative ending the requirement that prison officials receive approval from state regulators. That ruling could take effect next month.

Critics have complained that Democratic office-holders have delayed the rules for years because they are in no rush to resume carrying out the death penalty for the first time since 2006.

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