"Alabama Changes Execution Drug Combination" is the AP report, via WKRG-TV.
Alabama has adopted a new three-drug combination to use in lethal injections, and is seeking to resume executions that had halted because of a drug shortage.
The Alabama attorney general's office on Friday asked the Alabama Supreme Court to set execution dates for nine death row inmates. Lawyers said the Department of Corrections on Sept. 10 adopted a new drug protocol similar to that used by the state of Florida.
"The Department of Corrections is ready to carry out execution orders once set by the Alabama Supreme Court. The governor is confident the protocol does not violate the Eighth Amendment," said Bentley spokeswoman Jennifer Ardis.
Lawyers for the state said Alabama's new drug combination is "virtually identical" to that used by Florida, which has put seven inmates to death this year.
The Anniston Star reports, "State adopts new execution drugs, seeks death date for 9 inmates," by Tim Lockette.
Some death-row inmates have filed suits arguing that the use of those experimental drug combinations could lead to pain during executions, violating the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Tommy Arthur is one of those inmates. Arthur, sentenced to death for the murder-for-hire of a Muscle Shoals man in the 1980s, was originally scheduled for lethal injection in 2012. He filed suit on the grounds that the state had only recently switched to a new lethal injection drug, pentobarbital. Two other Alabama inmates have similar suits pending.
State officials acknowledged in March that Alabama no longer had a supply of pentobarbital — leaving Alabama without the drugs it needed to carry out executions.
In motions filed Thursday with the Alabama Supreme Court, state officials say they now have a new drug protocol for executions. Under the protocol, adopted Wednesday, inmates would be injected with midazolam hydrochloride, an anesthetic; rocuronium bromide to relax the muscles; and potassium chloride to induce cardiac arrest.
Earlier coverage of Alabama lethal injection issues begins at the link.