Lawyers liken execution plan to burning inmates at the stake

FILE - This July 25, 2014 photo shows bottles of the sedative midazolam at a hospital pharmacy in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma is one of three states where executions have gone awry this year using midazolam as part of a two- or three-drug lethal injection process. Officials in Texas and Missouri, two of the most active death penalty places, are confident in the use of their single drug pentobarbital and show no willingness to slow down. (AP Photo/File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Defense attorneys rushing to stop Ohio’s first execution in three years say the state’s new lethal injection system is akin to burning inmates at the stake or burying them alive.

Lawyers for inmates scheduled to die beginning in January say the state’s three-drug method announced Oct. 3 is worse than a similar procedure used years ago.

The attorneys say in a 527-page court filing Wednesday that the first drug in the procedure meant to sedate inmates will not prevent prisoners from experiencing severe pain from the next two drugs.

That drug, midazolam, was used in problematic executions in Arizona and Ohio in 2014.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year upheld the use of midazolam in executions in a case out of Oklahoma. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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