Crime & Justice

California releases plan to use 1 drug in executions

File photo: Shown is the view a condemned inmate would have from a table inside the death chamber of the new lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010. California has released plans to use a single drug to execute condemned prisoners, a change that comes nearly a decade after the state last put an inmate to death.
File photo: Shown is the view a condemned inmate would have from a table inside the death chamber of the new lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010. California has released plans to use a single drug to execute condemned prisoners, a change that comes nearly a decade after the state last put an inmate to death.
Eric Risberg/AP

California is proposing to allow corrections officials to choose one of four types of barbiturates to execute prisoners on death row.

The plan released Friday would allow officials to choose a drug depending on what's available, as states deal with a nationwide shortage of execution drugs.

The single drug would replace the three drugs used in 2006, the last time California put an inmate to death.

California's process for adopting a single-drug lethal injection has lagged for three years.

It was jump-started after an advocacy group sued on behalf of relatives of murder victims who said they are affected by the delay in executions.

Corrections officials agreed to propose the new regulations to settle the lawsuit.

The one-drug proposal now faces a 62-day public comment period.

This story has been updated.