September 23rd, 2010
11:07 PM ET

California prepares for first execution since lethal injection review

The execution next week of a California man who raped and murdered a 15-year-old on her way to school is set to proceed after the state appeals court overturned an injunction barring lethal injection, the Riverside County District Attorney's Office said.

Barring a last-minute stay or delay, Albert Greenwood Brown could become the first person to be executed in California in almost five years, ever since legal challenges arose over the state's lethal injection procedure.

And, if the execution goes forward as scheduled on September 29, he'll also be the first inmate to be put to death in California's new lethal injection chamber, which was modified to meet new requirements to come out of the lethal injection review.

Video: California readies for execution

Brown was sentenced to death in 1982 for the rape and murder of Susan Jordan, who was walking to Arlington High School in Riverside when Brown pulled her into an orange grove, according to court documents.

He raped and strangled her with her own shoelace and took her school identification cards and books. Later that evening, he looked up her family in the phone book and called their home, the documents state.

“Hello, Mrs. Jordan, Susie isn’t home from school yet, is she?” he said. “You will never see your daughter again. You can find her body on the corner of Victoria and Gibson.”

He also placed a call to police directing them to her body. During the investigation, three witnesses identified Brown as being near the scene of the crime. Police also found Susan’s school books and newspaper articles about her death in Brown’s home, and clothing with semen stains in Brown's work locker.

During the penalty phase of Brown's trial, his lawyer presented psychiatric evidence suggesting that he had emotional problems, including sexual maladjustment and dysfunction and claimed he was remorseful.

The jury deliberated for three hours before returning a death verdict, according to an opinion issued September 19 by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In post-conviction appeals, Brown claimed he had received ineffective counsel during the penalty phase, and that lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

In his appeal, Brown cited the two cases that had brought a temporary halt to executions in California in 2006. But those cases did not find that lethal injection was cruel and unusual punishment, the three-judge panel wrote.

Rather, the cases held "only that the protocol as currently implemented in California may violate the Eighth Amendment because the state does not have procedures in place to insure that inmates are unconscious... prior to injecting fatal doses."

The justices denied his claims.

If his execution goes forward, Brown will be the first inmate to be executed under the new regulations that took effect August 29, after a lengthy review and certification process.

Among the new regulations, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation:

– A screening process for selection of execution team members and a periodic review process for team members.

– A comprehensive training program for all execution team members focusing on custody and care of the inmate, the infusion process, intravenous application and vein access, characteristics and effects of each chemical used in the process, proper preparation and mixing of chemicals, the security of the lethal injection facility, proper record keeping and other areas.

– Standardized record keeping to ensure there are complete and reliable records of each execution.

– Training processes for the proper use of sodium thiopental. Training processes were developed for proper mixing, preparation and administration of sodium thiopental.

– Improvements to the lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison, including steps to ensure adequate equipment, lighting and space.

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Filed under: California • Crime • Death Penalty
soundoff (143 Responses)
  1. Tricia

    Why should we care if a murderer suffers during execution. His Victim had no option but to suffer.

    September 23, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      I completely agree. He should have his head chopped off...with a dull butter knife.

      September 24, 2010 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
    • David, Tampa

      Suffer? He is not going to suffer, other than fear. What crap. All capitol murderers should be thrown into a den of lions that have not been fed for three days!

      September 24, 2010 at 3:46 am | Report abuse |
    • gjnews

      yeah...i called it mercy killing to end the man before he kills another....its not like he went through hell like the poor girl he put her through....spare me the pity cause i dont have none for the murderers.

      September 24, 2010 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Man

      Why waste money on needles, give me a baseball bat and line them up!

      September 24, 2010 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
    • pmaria

      on one side, who are we to take a life?...on the other, who is he to take a life? it takes a little more than $52 a day to house a criminal, provide food, clothes and medical services where it takes $86.08 for the lethal-injection drugs. Unfortunately, statistics show that having the death penalty doesn't deter crime, but it does save money. how can you rehabilitate a pedofile murderer? you can't.

      September 24, 2010 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Waffles

      He should suffer. His victim did

      September 24, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • JC-VA

      That's exacly what I was going to say.

      September 24, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim in CA

      California is sooo f'ed up by the bleeding heart libs. This POS alive for 28 years on our dime is absurd to the overwhelming majority of the population. Come November it is time to take back our country from the idiots (career politicians).

      September 24, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • elchacal

      It took over $800K of tax payers money to finally put to death this guy. None of the states would be bankrupt or near bankruptcy if these animals are put to death immediately after incarceration.

      September 24, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete J

      ...because we are human and as such, show compassion. When we stop doing that, it makes us no better than the animal which we seek to eliminate.

      September 24, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • MCA

      "None of the states would be bankrupt or near bankruptcy if these animals are put to death immediately after incarceration."

      You know every now and then, you'll hear of people getting let off death row on appeal due to new evidence? If you executed directly after conviction, those people would have been murdered for no reason. If you truly support your statement and capital punishment for murder, you support the eventual murder of someone innocent, and you yourself deserve to be put to death. It's the paradox of death penalties.

      September 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. PINK.

    It is clear, this man is sick and influenced by demons. She we fault him for his actions really? That poor girl is remember.

    September 23, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • giz

      Please stick to your first language, I seriously doubt that it is English, if it is, our educational system is even more doomed than I thought.

      September 24, 2010 at 5:17 am | Report abuse |
    • bill

      Umm, yeah that made sense Pink.

      September 24, 2010 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
    • MoonRidr

      Let me see if I can reply in your language: Yes, we she fault him for his actions really. BECAUSE that poor girl is remember, K?!!

      September 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • nicole

      Lmao MoonRidr

      September 24, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Calliope

    I agree. His suffering would be nothing compared to what that poor girl went through. She did nothing to deserve that, she was an innocent. Other countries do death by firing squad and worse. I think his death is pretty humane compared to Susan's. And to call her mother up like that? Ugh. He should thank his lucky stars he isn't in Texas.

    September 23, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • lightemup

      Firing squad is an honorable way to die for a soldier. This guy does not deserve that honor. He needs to be strung up, slowly, so that his neck won't break. Just strangle to death like his poor victim.

      September 24, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • nesto

      i like your Texas comment. And i really have no comment or way of explaininf what should be one because any comment we say whether we should execute him the question comes who gives us the right to kill but then what right did he have. apparently for some one to call the parent of an innocent girl and say hey i her body is here and just do the things he did he is very demented. and should be dealt with properly, honestly i dont know what way that is but it just is. btw i live in Texas

      September 24, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Pete J go leave in those other countries you speak of. One suggestion would be the middle east were they know no boundaries to excruciating pain in their executions. If it is blood you lust for, then you can certainly find it there. But wait, doesn't that make you like the killer?

      September 24, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. La Piovra

    There has been a good deal of botching executions by a method skilled vetrinarians employ without trouble every day. I might be a little more at ease about this procedure if they simply let vetrinarians run it.

    September 23, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • BuildaFence

      More appopriate to consdiering what is being put to death.

      September 24, 2010 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. nette

    As a mother of two baby heart bleeds for Susan and her mother! What right does he have? He threw away his rights the second he took her life! I believe in a higher power and I believe in an eye for an eye! He gave no thought to the pain he caused her or her loved ones why should we care about his?

    September 23, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JC

    This is so wrong, I have no sympathy for anyone who disrespects women in any way. This guy is lucky this happened in our country and not another one with no rule. I have never heard of such a horrible thing. Susan and her mothers are in my prayers.

    September 23, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • ManOMundo

      There is huge gulf between disrespecting a woman and the crime of raping and killing a child. Don't make it sound like disrespect should merit the death penalty.

      September 24, 2010 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Pete J

      JC, give me a break. Do you even follow middle-eastern culture and their treatment of women? Save it for the park soapbox-the guy committed a crime regardless of if it were male or female and he is facing his "punishment"?

      September 24, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |

    im a law student and a mom and believe me when i say he should be happy to get the death penalty because if some man did that to my daughter just give my husband 10 minutes alone with him and he will be begging for the death penalty

    September 24, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. hh

    I pray we all can learn to treat one another with more love, more respect, more reverence, more kindness, more care. God bless all involved in this heartbreaking tragedy.Someone loves him as much as someone else loves her. Both are valuable, cherished and missed by someone.

    September 24, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Max

      Anyone who cherishes or values this piece of sub-human crap should be next on the execution list. This man is an unredeemable monster. Pity CA wasted so much money keeping him alive for 28 years. For crimes like the one(s) committed by this creep, the sentence should be carried out immediately. Shooter standing behind the defense table, jury foreperson utters the word "guilty", bang.

      September 24, 2010 at 5:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Maciej

      This monster's life is not worth anything! This THING must be destroyed as rabid dogs are!

      September 24, 2010 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. verla simmons

    i say he needs the same thing done to him. He is very sick and i feel very sorry for susan and her family. my daughter was rapped but no killed thank god but the people got away that done it. i try to spend every day with my daughter i am a breast cancer surviver and i think the guy should not be in prison where our taxes take care of him just give him electric chair and make him suffer.

    September 24, 2010 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      You daughter was rapped?

      September 24, 2010 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. cheryl w

    why is it that people hurt an kill babies? It just breaks my heart That monster is sick an he can get the lethal injection or any other tragic death but there is no punishment worse than what our heavenly father has in store..god bless the victim and her family.

    September 24, 2010 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Reb

      How do you know just what the so called heavely father has in store for this sorry excuse for humanity? Bet me if it was your love one who had suffered death by this piece of garbage you wouldn't be so blazae about you posting. It's folks like you that need a rude awakening to the fact that death sanctioned by the courts is the decision of a jury sworned to uphold the law. Spare me your absurd religious rhetoric, unless you have a direct line to the so called heavely father's decision regarding the situation etc.

      September 24, 2010 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  11. susan reyes

    Im a family member of Susan Jordans. This was a horrific tragedy that ripped are family's heart out. She was a gentle,soft spoken,kind,beautiful child of God. At 12:01 Albert Greenwood Brown will finally receive man's justice! At 12:02 he will stand before God and have to give an account of his actions! We stand united as a family,and hold her in our hearts forever.

    September 24, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Bubba's Big Ax of Justice

      Susan, I can only imagine what your family went through. I hope that you see this very long overdue justice happen soon.

      September 24, 2010 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Waffles

      I am sorry for your tragic loss.

      September 24, 2010 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Tricia

      God Bless you and your family Susan. As a loved one of a murder victim, I understand and I mourn for your loss.

      September 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • MCA

      I'm sorry for your families loss, but killing him won't bring her back, it simply ends his perception of the punishment. Letting him rot in General Population (they loooove rapists) for the rest of his life is more just (as we don't commit the second wrong that doesn't make a right) and is cheaper for the tax payer.

      September 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Misha

    An eye for an eye! Let the family have at him! and then God

    September 24, 2010 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. Suffer

    He should be made to suffer in jail the rest of his life instead of getting to escape through a pain free death.

    September 24, 2010 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Waffles

      They get all of their daily needs in prison. Heck, they even get a lot of extras. If he was required to work to make a significant contribution towards his incarceration, I would say let him live in prison. But he isn't. Get rid of him.

      September 24, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  14. Eric of Reseda

    Let's see...convicted in 1982, so that's 18 years on Death Row. Hmmm, by my calculations, at at least 25K per year to house, clothe and feed this guy, that's approximately $450,000 in taxpayer money to keep this guy alive for raping and murdering a little girl. AND, that's $450,000 NOT going to education or other services that may PREVENT crime. $450,000. And that's ONE guy. California has about 700 people on Death Row, including FAR too many guilty of raping and killing little girls. What is wrong with this picture?!? I feel sorry for Mr. Brown, 'cuz growing up black in America makes one more vulnerable to a life of dysfunction, but he crossed a line.

    September 24, 2010 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
    • thomas

      You mean 28.

      September 24, 2010 at 2:54 am | Report abuse |
    • J

      i agree,, black or white. he is just mess and needs to be cleared out, he never thought twice . he survuved 18 yrs he should be happy with that

      September 24, 2010 at 4:22 am | Report abuse |
    • foil

      Go back to math class.

      September 24, 2010 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. wann2know

    Very terrible what he did. Not excusable. As the state puts him to death we all become killers. Very sad.

    September 24, 2010 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Maciej

      Sometimes killing is necessary – we have the right to kill in self-defense, fighting for our country and also when serving justice. Those who kill another human being in the limits of laws of men do not deserve to be called killers. And even Jesus said "Give to Ceasar what is due to Ceasar"... and serving justice and applying law is part of what he meant. Conclusion: serving justice and applying law is a righteous and just thing to do. Even when it means killing a monster in human shape!

      September 24, 2010 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
    • MCA

      You're right about self defense, and that reason can somewhat justify the military, but no, there is no justice to be served in taking anothers life. That is simply revenge. It's more just that we keep our hands clean of blood and let this fool rot in general population (I hear they love rapists) where it will actually be cheaper to hold him for the rest of his sorry life.

      September 24, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
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