11th Circuit Ruling Revives Lethal Injection Lawsuit

Sep 1, 2017

A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit filed by four Alabama death-row inmates challenging the state's use of a controversial sedative at the start of lethal injections.  

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled that a federal judge prematurely dismissed the inmates' claims. The judges ordered the lower court to hold an evidentiary hearing on whether midazolam will effectively render inmates unconscious during executions.

John Palombi, a lawyer representing the inmates, said the 11th Circuit recognized that there are "serious questions" about the constitutionality of Alabama's procedure.

Palombi said he will now ask courts to stay the execution of two inmates who are scheduled to be put to death in October.

The attorney general's office did not have an immediate response to the ruling.