originally by: latimes.com
29th December 2010
California continued to buck a nationwide trend away from costly and litigious death sentences in 2010, adding 28 new prisoners to the country’s most populous death row, according to correction officials and a national database on capital punishment. Los Angeles County alone condemned eight defendants to death this year, the same number as Texas, and Riverside County sent six men to await execution, officials said.
The state’s death chamber was idle for a fifth year, though, because of protracted legal challenges of lethal injection practices and a nationwide shortage of the key drug used in the three-injection procedure.
Whether executions will resume in 2011 could be decided early in the new year, when a federal judge is expected to decide if the state’s newly revised lethal injection procedures conform with a constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.