A federal appeals court has revived an Alabama death row inmate's challenge of
his state's new 3-drug lethal injection protocol.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday reversed a judge's decision
that dismissed Thomas Arthur's appeal.
Arthur is set to be executed on March 29 for the 1982 murder-for-hire killing
of Muscle Shoals businessman Troy Wicker. It is unclear whether Wednesday's
decision will postpone his execution.
His attorneys claimed that Alabama's decision to use a new sedative called
pentobarbital as part of its 3-drug execution combination could be cruel and
unusual punishment. State attorneys pointed to successful executions where
pentobarbital was used.
The 3-judge panel's decision said the judge who dismissed Arthur's appeal
should have considered whether the swap constituted a "significant change" to
Alabama's execution protocol.
(source: Associated Press)