Ark. seeks to resume executions as drug expiration nears

Eight inmates are suing to stop their executions

Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A lawyer for Arkansas' prison system is asking the state Supreme Court to allow eight executions to proceed, saying questions raised about one of Arkansas' execution drugs have been adequately addressed by judges elsewhere in the U.S.

Eight inmates are suing to stop their executions, saying Arkansas' three-drug execution protocol could pose cruel and unusual punishments. The lawsuit also says the state reneged on a pledge to share information about where it obtains the drugs, one of which expires next month.

During a hearing Thursday, Justice Courtney Goodson questioned whether the high court should rule when "dueling experts" dispute whether the surgical sedative midazolam makes inmates fully unconscious before harsher drugs kill them.

Arkansas Solicitor General Lee Rudofsky said the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts have authorized the protocol.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press

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