Patterico's Pontifications

9/28/2010

No Execution for Child Rapist-Murderer Any Time Soon

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:25 am

If you weren’t paying attention, it might have appeared like his execution was coming up.

Dream on.

A federal appeals court in San Francisco late Monday ordered a trial judge to reconsider a ruling that allowed for a convicted murderer and rapist to be executed this week at San Quentin State Prison.

Albert Greenwood Brown was scheduled to be executed at 9 p.m. Thursday for the 1980 killing of a 15-year-old Riverside County girl.

But the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said that a U.S. district court judge erred by offering Brown a choice of being executed with a one-drug lethal injection or a three-drug cocktail.

I have downloaded the decision for your perusal here. I may have more to say about this later, but my quick analysis is: nothing is happening any time soon. Perhaps the weirdest part of all this: the moratorium on executions is likely to continue because . . . California doesn’t have fresh supplies of the execution drug:

The California attorney general’s office said Monday it would recommend not scheduling any more executions after Thursday until the state can secure a fresh supply of the drug, an anesthetic that renders condemned inmates unconscious before lethal drugs are injected.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has said it likely can’t acquire more of the drug until next year. That would further extend the de facto execution ban Fogel put in place in 2006 when he found California’s lethal injection process deeply flawed.

It’s only a de facto ban because the Attorney General never made the judge issue a real ruling, choosing instead to roll over and not set execution dates, forcing the judge to halt them.

The time has come, folks. Our officials are failing us. They are failing to force the issue. They are failing to buy fresh supplies of the necessary drugs.

Bring back the firing squad.

69 Responses to “No Execution for Child Rapist-Murderer Any Time Soon”

  1. Would that attorney general happen to be Moonbeam Brown? The Brown who will not defend the People’s vote on homosexual marriage?

    TimothyJ (5a11f5)

  2. Just hang them.

    SGT Ted (ac46d8)

  3. Patterico: Do you have a recommendation in the upcoming AG race?

    kaf (2dc950)

  4. Pretty sure we could lend them some. We’re friendly like that.

    em in Texas

    em (ae4747)

  5. Re: Sgt Ted, concur.

    DavidL (2a854d)

  6. I find it exceedingly unlikely that they couldn’t get more of this drug in 20 minutes if they wanted it.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  7. It will be interesting to see if California voters choose suicide this year by electing Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer. It is just astonishing that the polls are this close. California’s dEath Row was profiled last year by the Times (I think) as a place that prisoners prefer because they have more privacy and more privileges.

    Each few years I decide it can’t get worse. Then it does.

    Mike K (568408)

  8. oh for the love of God, if there was ever a case for a prisoner being “shot while trying to escape” i think this is it. They are not saying there is anything wrong with killing him, just that the exact method is whacked.

    on a prelilminary analysis, though, the 9th circus says that the problem is state law–it doesn’t allow the state to deny a person a specific way of dying because for whatever reason it is unavailable. i would wonder if cali could pass a law correcting that–saying you could choose among AVAILABLE methods–and open up the list to include enough methods so that a reasonable method is always available. or would that be considered ex post facto?

    Or like i said, just having him shot “while trying to escape.” or just mix him in with general population. my understanding is that they will make him wish he was dead, and then grant him his wish. other criminals don’t like child-rapist murderers.

    i mean Jeffrey Dahmer was not sentenced to death, but he is still dead and that kept me up at night for all of 3 seconds when it happened. 😉

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  9. Maybe you could buy sodium thiopental from one of these sodium thiopental dealers found via Google search for “sodium thiopental?” Crazy, I know:

    http://www.chemicalregister.com/Sodium_Pentothal/Suppliers/pid24737.htm

    gp (72be5d)

  10. This should increase the likelihood that Roman Polanski will one day return to LA.

    JD (c623a2)

  11. A little more info on Mr. Brown, and our fabulous “justice” system…

    ‘A plea is rejected by a federal judge to stop the September 29 execution of Albert Greenwood Brown Jr. who is convicted in the 1980 kidnap, rape and murder of a 15-year-old Riverside girl. Riverside Superior Court Judge Roger A. Luebs signed the death warrant of Albert Greenwood Brown. Brown force exists executing at San Quentin State Prison.’

    ‘A 15-year-old Susan Jordan was abducted by Albert Greenwood Brown when she walks to her school Arlington High School in Riverside for morning classes. After kidnapping, he raped and murder Susan then coffined her body in a near orange grove. After that, Brown called the Susan’s mother, Angelina. “Hello, Mrs. Jordan,” the caller said. “Susan isn’t home from school yet, is she? You’ll never see your daughter again…”’

    I’d like to extend my thanks to the state of California for protecting this scumbag for the last 30 years. We appreciate your tireless efforts in making sure that animals like Brown are able to lead long lives on the taxpayers’ dime.

    ‘…For raping a 14-year old in 1977 [actually it was 1976 DS], Albert Greenwood Brown had been imprisoned. He had been paroled only four months before the Riverside tragedy.’

    Also thanks to the state of California for releasing this sub-human POS after the first time he raped a teenage girl. He raped a 14 year old, after breaking into her house and choking her into unconciousness in 1976, and was released in plenty of time to rape and murder another in 1980, after serving a whole two years in prison. Nice work, assholes.

    Source…

    http://today24news.com/breaking/albert-greenwood-brown-mugshot-photo-revealed-254865

    BTW, according to wikipedia the gas chamber at San Quentin is still fully functional and ready to go. They could cap this guy anytime they wanted…only they don’t want.

    Bastards.

    Dave Surls (533a0c)

  12. It looks like the state of Georgia has some sodium thiopental:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/28/brandon-rhode-execution-georgia_n_741299.html

    If only there was some way that California could contact far distant Georgia to ask for some. A real conundrum.

    gp (72be5d)

  13. J.D. at 10

    dude, you have to warn me before you say stuff like that. i was in the middle of drinking some water and it went right up my nose. :-)

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  14. I’m pretty sure that a 230gr./.45JHP to the back of the skull is FAIAP painless, and that a suitable supply could be had Gratis for the asking –
    including volunteers to pull the trigger.

    …the 1980 killing…
    Justice Delayed is Justice Denied!
    This organizational conspiracy posing as a State Government has gone beyond parady and farce, and has seemingly entered the Twilight Zone!

    AD-RtR/OS! (57c107)

  15. Sorry, A.W. Maybe I need to use some TRIGGER ALERT!

    JD (c623a2)

  16. Comment by Dave Surls — 9/28/2010 @ 8:34 am

    You failed to remind us who the Governor was in 1980 who appointed the Parole Board that released this POS so that he might re-commit.

    AD-RtR/OS! (57c107)

  17. “You failed to remind us who the Governor was in 1980…”

    My bad.

    Jerry Brown (no relation to Albert Brown…as far as I know), aka “the rapist’s best friend” was governor of California from 1975 until 1983.

    Dave Surls (533a0c)

  18. Oh, gee Dave, I am so shocked to discover that “The Moonbeam” could have had a hand in this.

    AD-RtR/OS! (57c107)

  19. How can this NOT be a campaign issue?

    “Incompetence or malfeasance, you decide!”

    Kevin M (298030)

  20. “anesthetic that renders condemned inmates unconscious before lethal drugs are injected.”

    We always have to be careful not to hurt these vicious murderers, even though it was the furtherest thing from their thoughts when they murdered their victim. Why? They need to feel and be aware of everything. Let them scream in agony, so the other possible murderers know what’s coming.

    Sorry, got a little carried away.

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  21. This week we had a convicted rapist/murderer attempt to get his death penalty reversed. The reason? The jury at the sentencing may have been “influenced” by the fact he was wearing shackles. Good grief. He was a convicted murderer!
    Recall, if you will, the kerfuffle at the Tookie Smith execution when they could not insert the needle because of his over-developed muscles. Mustn’t hurt the poor widdle baby…
    We are doomed as a society.

    Gazzer (c062b1)

  22. I believe I read recently that:

    (a) the drug in question is undergoing a nationwide shortage;
    (b) the manufacturer says new supplies won’t be available until the new year;
    (c) at least one other state doesn’t have enough supplies.

    See, for example this report from Dayton, Ohio, about how Ohio isn’t effected by the shortage currently, but that delays have occurred in Kentucky and Oklahoma and earlier this year on Ohio.

    Part of the problem seems to be, according to this blog post at a blog on criminal justice issues, that sodium thiopental is basically not used in hospitals any more, and the manufacturer is having unexplained “issues”.

    So: it’s not really clear this one can be blamed on the AG’s office.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  23. @22, Georgia had the drug as recently as last night; see my #12 above. If there was truly NONE in stock anywhere, a job shop lab could synthesize the qty needed in one day. Or a substitute anesthetic could be used.

    gp (72be5d)

  24. (1) A substitute anaesthetic probably couldn’t be used, as that would entail legal wrangling that nobody wants.

    (2) the fact that a particular consumer has some product does not mean that the product is available for purchase from a supplier. The consumer has to be willing to sell. If there’s a general supply problem, as news reports have been alleging for at least a week before California’s execution was being mentioned in the press, then presumably people who (a) have some and (b) plan to use it aren’t going to be willing to sell it until the supply problem is resolved.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  25. Why did the state of California abandon hanging?

    I also read that in the 1930’s, executions only took a few years. What laws changed since then?

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  26. I had pentothal for a molar extraction back in 1974. It looks like nowadays, oral surgeons are using general anesthetics Fentanyl, Versed, and Ketamine, among other drugs. Any reason one of them can’t be used?

    gp (72be5d)

  27. There’s no market for it except for executions?

    Propofol has replaced it for surgeries?

    nk (db4a41)

  28. Perhaps there would have been some available from MJ’s stash. //sarc//

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  29. The absurdity would be funny. Except for everything else.

    We who have not raped or murdered are all are very likely to die in pain or discomfort, after some period of disability and anxiety. It’s not that I advocate painful executions, but that it really doesn’t matter much. I will not die in as much comfort as an executed criminal.

    jodetoad (7720fb)

  30. i just checked with HRH, and they can get sodium thiopental any time they need it, even though its currently a shortage med.

    Hospira (Abbott) has been having supply problems with a lot of their product line recently, so its just them being TARFU, not some conspiracy on their part.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  31. Materials for guillotine: Less than a thousand dollars, all-told, at any good lumber yard.

    Cost of building guillotine: Probably less than a thousand dollars (they do take careful building, but any good carpenter could probably knock one together)

    Crime-free society once criminals are all beheaded: PRICELESS.

    Technomad (f667ed)

  32. If I read the story in the Dog Trainer correctly the State of California has 7.5 grams of sodium thiopental on hard, and might use as much as 6 grams of that stock to do the deed on Rapist Brown.

    Worse yet the drug has an “expiration date” of this Friday–which means that after this Friday the State’s inventory will be “zero”. You can’t anesthetize somebody with an out of date drug. (The horror of it all, and all that.)

    And I read in the Wall Street Journal that the manufacturer of the drug has announced that it will no longer sell the drug to any agency for use in executions.

    So if a state is going to use that “three drug cocktail” with sodium thiopental being the first drug, there’s going to be a real problem in carrying out executions in future.

    The Russkis in the Lubyanka may have had the 9 mm answer. A walk down a hallway in the basement and a bullet in the back of the head. No shortage of 9 mm anmmunition in this world as of yet.

    We’re talking here about punishment for the rape and murder of a 15 year old girl committed 30 years ago. She could/would be a grandmother today if she were alive–and this “innocent victim of the justice system” is still finding legal issues to stay out of the death chamber?

    Mike Myers (3c9845)

  33. Scott Evil: “Look, I’ve got a gun in my room. I’ll go get it, boom, done!”

    Doctor Evil: “You just don’t get it, do you Scotty?”

    mojo (4e4a98)

  34. Extermination possibilities, courtesy of the Sociopathic Blog for Boys.

    You’ve just got to get creative.

    Gesundheit (aab7c6)

  35. I can dream can I not.Who are you proposing to put in front of these firing squads and will volunteers to man the squads be accepted?

    dunce (bdc1fa)

  36. Why not a massive overdose of any strong anesthetic? Surely one of those tranquilizer darts for bull elephants would work.

    Techie (5f34ab)

  37. Sodium thiopental is also available from a number of suppliers for veterinary use. This is an easily-synthesized small-molecule drug.

    gp (72be5d)

  38. Re: hanging. I’m sure the sanctuary cities of CA can furnish lots of undocumented workers to build a perfectly adequate one.

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  39. Isn’t the Attorney General of California, Jerry Brown, who is running for Governor? Why did a whole article on his incompetence go by without once mentioning his name or party affiliation?

    eaglewingz08 (74f660)

  40. I never knew the drug they use to kill you has an expiration date.

    Birdbath (8501d4)

  41. Bullets are plentiful and have long shelf lives.

    Icy Texan (1cdac1)

  42. Dude, I have killed about 3 horses a month with humane intravenous injections for 25 years. They have ALL been unconscious before they hit the ground. Takes about 7 seconds from injection to drop, and another minute to be really gone. This arguing about human drugs and technique makes me ill. They are dead, motherfuckers!1!11!1!! Kill the animals with animal drugs. Order them from Butler-Schein just like I do.

    dr kill (6f3a91)

  43. @40 The drugs that kill are the curare and KCl that make up 2 of the 3 compounds. The pentothal is intended to quickly induce loss of consciousness, although you could easily administer a fatal dose. Curare (pancuronium bromide) stops the breathing, KCl stops the heart.

    You can buy KCl at the grocery store; it is the sodium-free salt substitute in the spice section. It’s good for you!

    gp (f0a9d7)

  44. One reason why lethal injection is an example of lunatic legal theory is that so many of these murderers are druggies and have burned all their veins. The gas chamber is probably less painful than having some paramedic digging around in your arm for a half hour trying to find a vein. I can’t even remember why the gas chamber was banned. Electrocution can get ugly but the gas is almost instantaneous. They could even include some nitrous oxide for that last high before the real stuff hits.

    Mike K (568408)

  45. Why spend money on bullets. A plastic ties from Home Depot for handcuffs and leg restraints and a good push off the plank at the center of the Golden Gate Bridge should be good enough. If you want the body recovered, use a fishing float tied to the legs.

    cedarhill (b473f5)

  46. According to the Houston Chronicle, “Texas officials say they have an ample supply and would not comment further, including on how many other states have approached it hoping to obtain doses to perform executions.”

    One of the main reasons for the national freeze on executions in Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972), was that the existing capital punishment regimes were too arbitrary. As described four years later in Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153 (1976),

    the death sentences examined by the Court in Furman were “cruel and unusual in the same way that being struck by lightning is cruel and unusual. For, of all the people convicted of [capital crimes], many just as reprehensible as these, the petitioners [in Furman were] among a capriciously selected random handful upon whom the sentence of death has in fact been imposed…. [T]he Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments cannot tolerate the infliction of a sentence of death under legal systems that permit this unique penalty to be so wantonly and so freakishly imposed.”

    Since then, the opponents of capital punishment in California have been so successful in blocking executions that they have, as a practical matter, made a nullity out of California’s duly enacted and repeated-proved constitutional capital punishment laws. They’ve sapped those laws of any real deterrent power. Indeed, California, lightning strikes are vastly more common than executions which proceeded to completion in California, and I suspect you could make a pretty good actuarial case that a death row prisoner there is at greater risk of death from a lightning strike than from the carrying out of his sentence.

    Death penalty opponents use the rule of law to undermine the rule of law.

    Beldar (220374)

  47. Funny link from Gesundheit, and a sobering comment from Beldar.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  48. i forgot to mention earlier, but part of the acquisition problem for the state prison system is the blithering idiots in charge of buying their drugs.

    i did some contract w*rk at one of their facilities awhile back, and the poor pricing was mind numbing.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  49. That’s it Beldar!
    You’ve found the solution:
    All Death Row inmates will henceforth be kept shackled to lightning-rods.

    AD-RtR/OS! (57c107)

  50. Comment by redc1c4 — 9/28/2010 @ 4:19 pm

    I’ll wager they could get preferential pricing, and amazing delivery service, by contracting with La Eme (representatives can be found in any CA Correctional Institution)!

    AD-RtR/OS! (57c107)

  51. Bring back the firing squad.

    I’d bring it back, but not for the inmates on Death Row.

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (609d83)

  52. There’s no good way to kill.

    They tried to sell us lethal injection as clinical and sanitary. It didn’t work.

    nk (db4a41)

  53. The LAT explains this is all simply reflective of California’s unresolved moral dilemma over executions.

    I am not in favor of the death penalty. That’s not my bleeding heart speaking, but my intellectual queasiness over state-sanctioned killing.

    Our justice system tilts on too many elements beyond guilt or innocence — money and race, jury composition, attorney competence — to promise that every person ordered to die deserves that ultimate sentence.

    Except in this case, the evidence was irrefutable and the writer herself, Sandy Banks, states, If there’s an inmate in California who deserves the death penalty, it would be Albert Greenwood Brown Jr.

    Californians nor LAT writers can’t have it both ways.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  54. With all of the affirmative votes by the citizens of CA re the Death Penalty, only cretins working for the LAT, and members of the ACLU, would think that Californians have “unresolved moral dilemmas” on this issue.

    Kill Them!
    Kill them Now!
    Kill them before they kill again!

    AD-RtR/OS! (57c107)

  55. Well according a new Field Poll, 70% of Californians are not struggling through any “unresolved moral dilemma” on this issue.

    The Field Poll has been measuring public opinion toward the death penalty for over fifty years. In each measure there has been significantly greater support than opposition to the death penalty, although the size of the pluralities in favor have varied. In the period 1956-1971 supporters outnumbered opponents by margins ranging from 12 to 24 percentage points. Support for the death penalty expanded greatly in the late 1970’s and continued throughout the decades of the 1980’s and 1990’s to where supporters outnumbered opponents by margins of five or six to one.

    It’s interesting to note that the poll states that during the late 70’s, support for the death penalty increased greatly – and yet, still our governor at the time appointed Rose Bird to the bench.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  56. After thirty years of delayed justice, this felon, Albert Greenwood Brown, should show some gratitude and good faith by saving everyone the stress and slit his wrist or something. Or take one in the head.

    The Emperor (6e616b)

  57. They could always waterboard Mr. Brown if they can’t execute him.

    Birdbath (8501d4)

  58. Clearly, they need to switch to another chemical that isn’t in short supply. I’d recommend C4, preferably attached to a timer with big red numbers that the murderer can see clearly.

    M. Scott Eiland (27aed4)

  59. Sooner or later, voter frustration on this sort of thing is going to come to a head. I’d far rather they just abolished the endless futile appeals (or, better yet, all appeals—once he’s sentenced, drag him out and straight to the guillotine/gallows he goes!) than some of the other alternatives…angry mobs tearing open prisons and tearing the inmates to shreds, for instance.

    Technomad (f667ed)

  60. Not to be a Moby, but I think that the blood lust displayed whenever this subject comes up is unseemly and doesn’t do the case for the death penalty any good.

    Believe it or not, I support the death penalty.

    You should remember that it’s about retribution and appropriate recompense, not revenge. It’s their humanity, and the recognition of their humanity, that justifies the ultimate response. Otherwise it’s just Xerxes whipping the waves.

    Fritz (3036f6)

  61. Fritz, good point… it’s still pretty upsetting when officials actually fight against the will of the jury and the people like this, but I don’t like the bloodlust very much either.

    30 years ago some kid was killed in one of the worst ways, and this is her justice being denied.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  62. Fritz,

    I agree that this is not a subject to be taken lightly. Most thinking people who have arrived at a pro-death penalty position have likely gone through a bit of moral agony and consideration, perhaps prayer, too, before arriving at their position. I trust the “moral dilemma” has long hard been worked through before one commits to being pro-death penalty.

    With that though, it causes a swell of righteous anger somewhere deep in my being to know that there are two parents whose closure has been thwarted by (essentially) politics; a public who has not seen justice fulfilled; and citizens who must further commit to keeping one alive who so brutally and callously ruined the lives of two girls, one of whom was not even allowed to a remainder of her life.

    Brown served less than four years in prison for ambushing and raping a 14-year-old girl in her Riverside home in 1977. Four months after his parole, on Oct. 28, 1980, he snatched Susan Jordan as she walked to school, raped her, strangled her with her shoelace and left her body in an orange grove near Riverside’s Arlington High School.

    That night he called Susan’s home several times and taunted her worried mother. “Susie isn’t home from school yet, is she?” he asked. Brown told her where to find her daughter: “the corner of Victoria and Gibson, fifth row.” Hours later, a police dog found Susan’s body, half-nude, face down in the dirt.

    The evidence at Brown’s 1982 trial was overwhelming. Witnesses had seen him approaching Susan. His semen-stained clothes were stashed in his work locker. The girl’s missing schoolbooks were found in his home, along with a telephone directory open to the page with her parents’ phone number. One of Brown’s calls to the Jordans was recorded and two of his friends recognized Brown’s voice.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  63. Bring back the firing squad

    The heck with that – one bullet to the back of the head, tissue type the bastard and harvest the organs – restitution – pay it forward, Larry Niven’s story, notwithstanding.

    Horatio (55069c)

  64. With that though, it causes a swell of righteous anger somewhere deep in my being to know that there are two parents whose closure has been thwarted by (essentially) politics; a public who has not seen justice fulfilled; and citizens who must further commit to keeping one alive who so brutally and callously ruined the lives of two girls, one of whom was not even allowed to a remainder of her life.

    This is the point I want to make: the penalty is justified because this person violated the law. The law and the state are executing this man. It is the solemn dignity of the law at its most terrible to which we should bear witness.

    The pity or horror we feel for the victims should be of secondary concern. If this man had raped and killed a person who no one loved, who no one missed, who no one mourned, his paying the ultimate recompense for his actions should be no less justified.

    Fritz (3036f6)

  65. I wouldn’t it if mind opponents of the death penalty at least didn’t fall for the notion that their sentiments are predicated on so much compassion, so much humaneness, so much sophistication. IOW, if they proclaim they’re against capital punishment because they’re callous and heartless — and shed tears for the killer more than (or not much less than) for his victims — I’d say “fine, at least you’re being honest!”

    Meanwhile, I’m always reminded of how screwed up — and mindlessly leftwing — Mexico is based on its Supreme Court not only ruling that the death penalty is (natch) unconstitutional, but that even life in prison without parole is unconstitutional. I’d like to snicker at Mexico and its people, but I suspect that nation is a window into America’s future.

    Mark (411533)

  66. I honestly don’t think you’d see so much bloodlust if officialdom didn’t do all it could to go against the will of the people on this point.

    Technomad (f667ed)

  67. @Fritz
    but I think that the blood lust displayed whenever this subject comes up is unseemly and doesn’t do the case for the death penalty any good.

    Tell that to the victims and their families who have been denied justice for thirty years.

    The Emperor (6e616b)

  68. Would that attorney general happen to be Moonbeam Brown? The Brown who will not defend the People’s vote on homosexual marriage?

    Yes.

    He is not fit to stand with the ranks of attorney generals like Jon Bruning and Greg Abbott.

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  69. Since then, the opponents of capital punishment in California have been so successful in blocking executions that they have, as a practical matter, made a nullity out of California’s duly enacted and repeated-proved constitutional capital punishment laws. They’ve sapped those laws of any real deterrent power. Indeed, California, lightning strikes are vastly more common than executions which proceeded to completion in California, and I suspect you could make a pretty good actuarial case that a death row prisoner there is at greater risk of death from a lightning strike than from the carrying out of his sentence.

    Death penalty opponents use the rule of law to undermine the rule of law.

    The solution is simple.

    Repeal the Eighth Amendment.

    Meanwhile, I’m always reminded of how screwed up — and mindlessly leftwing — Mexico is based on its Supreme Court not only ruling that the death penalty is (natch) unconstitutional, but that even life in prison without parole is unconstitutional.

    It goes to show what the leadership of the capital punishment abolitionist movement is really after.

    Their sympathies lie with Hans Frank, not Anne Frank.

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)


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