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. Steve W.

    In Iran they whip a woman 99 times for not wearing a scarf on her head and stone her to death for adultry. Punishment far beyond the crime. Here in the US, you brutally murder a child and 30 years later you get put to sleep in comfort. And yet idiots still are sorry for this guy and think it's inhumane to give him lethal injection. Lets let the punishment fit the crime. Women should not be stonned to death in Iran for adultry... and this guy should be beheaded for murdering an innocent child.

    September 24, 2010 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. dan

    Its about time. What is wrong with the state of California? They should have an execution party and put all of their low lifes down in a timely fashion. Not let them live 30 years at the taxpayers exspense.

    September 24, 2010 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. KKray

    1982 and this piece of crap is still living??!!! With all that evidence his sorry ass should have been swinging from a lampost a long time ago. Actually a better method would be cut his testicles off and let him bleed out

    September 24, 2010 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. Brownstain

    And we criticize Iran??
    We execute way more humans than they do.

    September 24, 2010 at 6:38 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      There is a difference between the execution of demonstrators or whoever does not agree with the regime, and the execution of a monster.

      September 24, 2010 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Maciej

      Dear Brownstain

      last year in USA 52 people were executed; in Iran it was 400 (four hundred); also in Iran there is no fair trial to anybody as it is a violent, ruthless totalitarian dictatorship with the judges being civil servants serving the regime and taking its orders from the administration; in USA everybody has the right to a fair trial and judges are independent

      September 24, 2010 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
    • foil

      Shut up brownsh!tstain, you're too stupid.

      September 24, 2010 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Brownstain

      Foil:
      That's Father Brownstain to you.
      And you better be careful:
      I lurk in your underpants!

      September 24, 2010 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
  5. John

    This guy has an express ticket to hell. Too bad it has taken almost 3 decades to get to the point of terminating this low life. What a waste of human organs.

    September 24, 2010 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Redeye Dog

      FYI – A lot of death row inmates become organ donors. ....just saying...

      September 24, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brownstain

    Brother Cornhole proves that it isn't only the Poop and his merry band of child molesters who are having all the fun.
    By the way, isn't it time to pimp the Poopmobile?
    It looks like a 1962 Datsun pickup with an outhouse on the back.

    September 24, 2010 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Brownstain

      Or an ice cream truck to draw all the little boys!

      September 24, 2010 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. Stanky

    I feel like if we start executing everybody that commit a murder the world will be better off without them!R.I.P Kelsey Wilson a former Butler Bulldog Basketball Standout he got killed in Indianapolis Indiana n 2002!My best friend his murder still unsolyed!If u kno anything call those sorry azz police detectives in Nap town!

    September 24, 2010 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sharkhunter

    Eye for and Eye, tooth for a tooth. and we all walk around blind and gum our food.
    Americans are embarrassed about the whole Capital Punishment process. Executions are hidden and they occur late at night. If we are going to have the damn thing ( Capital punishment) then put the executions on TV or the net, and do it during the day. Not as we do now .

    September 24, 2010 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
  9. phil

    If we dine on violence and even feed it to our kids, is it any wonder we have such violence in our real ilves?

    September 24, 2010 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ash83

    CA could have saved over .5 million in the years they kept him alive..... Maybe they wouldn't be having some of the financial issues now if they just put down their freaks and weirdos!

    September 24, 2010 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. Farrad713

    The judicial system of America has absoulutley no freedom justice of equality for the African American of people of color

    September 24, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. pelosilies

    This POS will suffer all of eternity.

    September 24, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. TexVet

    I agree this poor man has suffered way too much....so let's put him out of his misery WOO-HOOO!!!!!!

    September 24, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  14. Farrad713

    The Black Man & Woman of America were brought here 2 America under the worst capital crimes of theft,kidnapping,rap,murder & most or All under child abduction and has not been yet held acountable

    September 24, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. AshahsMommy

    They really need to eliminate lethal injection and bring back the electric chair so he can suffer the same fate as his victim.

    September 24, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
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