Masters v. CDCR (Death Penalty)
Jarvis Jay Masters, a death-sentenced inmate, and Witness to Innocence, a nonprofit organization composed of and led by exonerated death row inmates and their family members, is challenging California’s new lethal injection regulations.
Since November 2015, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has been attempting to issue execution regulations, but its proposed regulations were so problematic that California’s Office of Administrative Law disapproved them twice.
On Jan. 29, 2018, CDCR abandoned its efforts to obtain the approval of the Office of Administrative Law. Instead, it unilaterally issued regulations for conducting executions — without providing the public with notice and comment, and without submitting the regulations for substantive review by the Office of Administrative Law, as required by the California Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”).
Mr. Masters and Witness to Innocence are challenging CDCR’s latest execution protocol as invalid “underground regulations” issued in violation of the APA.
On May 30, 2018, the judge ruled that our challenge can move forward, denying CDCR's motion to dismiss our case.
The plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU Foundation of Northern California and the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP.