Federal court hearing arguments on Arkansas' lethal injection process

Thursday, September 24, 2009 | 8:58 a.m. CDT; updated 2:12 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 24, 2009

ST. LOUIS— A federal appeals court panel in St. Louis hears arguments Thursday on whether Arkansas' method of executing inmates is unconstitutional.

A lawsuit by four men sentenced to death in Arkansas claims the state's lethal injection process may cause inmates to suffer pain before the three-drug cocktail sedates and kills them.

The Arkansas attorney general says a 2008 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that allowed lethal injection doesn't protect the condemned from every possible pain during the procedure.

Arguments were scheduled Thursday before a panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. The case will be closely watched in Missouri and several other capital punishment states.


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Martin Danson September 24, 2009 | 12:15 p.m.

Did the victims of these four get a promise of a pain free death?????

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