The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has a history of issuing illegal execution protocols. After the agency’s last attempt to adopt a protocol was twice rejected by the state’s own Office of Administrative Law, the CDCR decided to bypass that process entirely. But the Administrative Procedure Act requires agencies to provide the public with notice and an opportunity to comment before adopting regulations. Our lawsuit, Masters v. CDCR, challenged the new execution protocol under the Administrative Procedure Act. CDCR moved to dismiss our case, but the judge today ruled that our challenge can move forward. We’re very pleased the case cleared this important first hurdle. CDCR’s execution protocol is illegal and today’s ruling gives us the opportunity to prove that in court.
— Linda Lye, senior staff attorney, ACLU Foundation of Northern California