The governor's order was disclosed in an appeal of a Marin County judge's decision to toss out California's newly developed lethal injection regulations.
The new procedures called for prisoners to be put to death through the use of the drug sodium thiopental, which may no longer be available in the United States, and two other drugs.
The one-drug method may have a lower risk of causing undo suffering to the inmate.
Back in March, a federal judge barred the use of sodium thiopental purchased outside the country. There is no domestic maker of the chemical, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has been ordered to turn over its foreign-bought drug to the Food and Drug Administration.
Voters will get a chance to abolish capital punishment in California in November.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.