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California Eyes 1-Drug Executions Amid Debate

tomsaint / Flickr
 

tomsaint / Flickr

(AP) - Californians face a watershed year as they prepare to decide whether to resume executions that stopped a decade ago or end the punishment entirely.

While advocates jockey to put both choices before voters this fall, officials overseeing the nation's largest death row are pushing ahead with plans to use a single lethal injection to meet legal requirements amid a nationwide shortage of execution drugs.

They will hold a public hearing Friday on their proposal to let corrections officials choose from four types of powerful barbiturates to execute prisoners.

A choice would be made for each execution, depending on which drug is available.

The single drug would replace the series of three drugs that were last used 2006.