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California Moves - Slowly - Toward Resuming Executions

AP Photo / Eric Risberg

A guard stands watch over the east block of death row at San Quentin State Prison Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016, in San Quentin, Calif.

AP Photo / Eric Risberg

(AP) - California has long been what one expert calls "a symbolic death penalty state" - one of 12 that has a capital punishment law on the books but hasn't executed anyone in more than a decade.

The nation's most populous state may now be easing back toward allowing executions, prodded by voters and lawsuits.

However, observers are split on how quickly they might resume, if at all.

Corrections officials expect to meet a Wednesday deadline to submit revised lethal injection rules to state regulators, trying again with technical changes after the first attempt was rejected in December.

The California Supreme Court, meanwhile, is expected to rule by August on challenges to a ballot initiative narrowly approved by voters in November that would speed up executions by reducing the time allowed for appeals.

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