By Brad Friedman on 2/21/2006, 10:17pm PT  

God bless the doctors...and the U.S. Constitution...Sanity prevails, if only for the moment, in California.

Morales, 46, was supposed to die by lethal injection at 12:01 a.m. But the execution was put off until at least Tuesday night after two anesthesiologists backed out because of ethical concerns that they might have to advise the executioner if the inmate woke up or appeared to suffer pain.

"Any such intervention would clearly be medically unethical," the doctors, whose identities were not released, said in a statement. "As a result, we have withdrawn from participation in this current process."

The doctors had been brought in by a federal judge after Morales' attorneys argued that the three-part lethal injection process violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.