CRIME
12/18/2014 08:12 am ET Updated Dec 18, 2014

Oklahoma Inmates Claim Lethal Injection Unconstitutional

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Lawyers for 21 death row inmates say Oklahoma's bungled execution in April is evidence they likely will experience pain and suffering from the state's lethal injection protocol.

Testimony is scheduled to continue Thursday in a federal court in Oklahoma City where the inmates are challenging the state's method of execution. Much of the case centers on the use of the sedative midazolam as the first in a three-drug combination.

The combination was used for the first time in Oklahoma during the April 29 execution of Clayton Lockett. He writhed on the gurney, mumbled and lifted his head before dying after the execution was halted.

Attorneys for the state say new execution protocols and staff training will prevent similar problems from happening again.

Oklahoma's next execution is set for Jan. 15.

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