A federal judge on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order blocking Mississippi from using two drugs in executions, shutting down the death penalty in the state for now. The judge, Henry T. Wingate of United States District Court, said the state could not use pentobarbital or midazolam, two drugs used to render prisoners unconscious. State law requires a three-drug process, with a sedative followed by a paralyzing agent and a drug that stops the heart. Grace Simmons Fisher, a spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Corrections, wrote in an email that the order bans the state from using any drug to execute a condemned inmate. The state quickly filed notice that it would ask the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to overturn Judge Wingate’s order. Mississippi is one of several states facing legal challenges to lethal injections.
Source: The New York Times