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US judges dismiss Fla. death penalty challenge

November 6, 2013
Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Two federal judges have thrown out challenges from seven Florida death row inmates that the state's use of a new lethal injection drug constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, but said the decision was based on legal technicalities.

U.S. District Court Judges Marcia Morales Howard and Timothy J. Corrigan said Wednesday that the lawsuits are "not trivial," as a state assistant attorney general asserted, and gave the inmates and their lawyers 60 days to file new complaints. The state Attorney General's Office will then have 30 days to respond.

The lawsuit stems from the state's recent change of its execution protocol to include the sedative midazolam hydrochloride, instead of the previously used pentobarbital.



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