Mississippi justices reject challenges over execution drug

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s state Supreme Court is denying appeals from two death row inmates over Mississippi’s plans to execute them using a sedative called midazolam.

In a pair of 7-2 rulings Thursday, justices found that Thomas Edwin Loden Jr. and Richard Gerald Jordan hadn’t presented enough scientific evidence about the drug to justify a hearing on whether inmates executed using it would feel pain. A state law calls for an inmate to be unconscious.

The use of midazolam has been repeatedly challenged nationwide because prisoners have coughed, gasped and moved for extended periods during executions.

However, a continuing federal court challenge involving both Loden and Jordan continues, making it unlikely either will be executed soon.

Mississippi hasn’t executed anyone since 2012, amid efforts to cut off execution drugs and legal challenges.

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