SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown is ordering California prison officials to explore using a single drug for lethal injections instead of three, in an effort to restart long-stalled executions in the state.

Brown’s order was contained in a two-page appeal of a Marin County judge’s decision last year to toss out California’s newly developed lethal injection regulations. The appeal was filed Thursday.

The procedures called for prisoners to be put to death through the use of sodium thiopental, which may no longer be available in the United States, and two other drugs.

The judge ruled that the state failed to explain why it chose the three-drug mixture over the one-drug method.

The appeal said the state still supports the three-drug protocol, but that the governor has directed officials to explore the one-drug option.

A measure to abolish capital punishment in California qualified for the November ballot Monday.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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