SACRAMENTO (AP) — California state regulators for the second time have rejected a proposed new method of carrying out the death penalty, although they could soon be overruled by a voter-approved initiative.

The new regulations rejected on Monday would have allowed condemned inmates to be executed using one of two powerful barbiturates. Inmates could also still choose the gas chamber.

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The Office of Administrative Law similarly rejected an earlier proposal in December.

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However, the state Supreme Court in August upheld a voter-approved initiative ending the requirement that prison officials receive approval from state regulators. That ruling could take effect next month.

Critics have complained that Democratic office-holders have delayed the rules for years because they are in no rush to resume carrying out the death penalty for the first time since 2006.

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