"Miss. Supreme Court upholds lethal injection switch," is the AP report via the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.
The Mississippi Supreme Court has rejected claims that corrections officials failed to properly publicize as required by law its switch to a new lethal injection drug.
The lawsuit by two anti-death penalty organizations was filed last year on behalf of three inmates. Two of the three have been executed.
Mississippians Educating for Smart Justice and Mississippi Cure Inc. sued the state, hoping to stop the executions because the Mississippi Department of Corrections switched to a different lethal injection drug. They said corrections officials failed to properly publicize the change as required by the Administrative Procedures Act.
In 2011, Hinds County Circuit Judge Bill Gowan rejected the challenge.
"The protocol is an internal policy concerning lethal injections and the manner in which executions are carried out and is therefore not subject to the notice and comment requirements of the MAPL," Justice Randy Pierce wrote in Thursday's unanimous decision.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of inmates Benny Joe Stevens, Rodney Gray and Robert Simon Jr. Stevens was executed May 10. 2011; Gray was executed May 17, 2011. Simon has appeals pending in federal court.
The MDOC said in April of 2011 that it would switch to a different drug, pentobarbital, for the state's next execution because of a nationwide shortage of one drug it has used in the past.
The Mississippi Supreme Court ruling is available in Adobe .pdf format. Earlier coverage from Mississippi, including lethal injection issues in the state begins at the links. Related posts are in the lethal injection index.