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Tennessee Supreme Court upholds lethal injection method

(Image: MGN Online/Michael Coghlan CC BY-SA 2.0)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld the state’s method of lethal injection.

In a unanimous opinion, the state’s highest court said that using the drug pentobarbital to execute condemned prisoners is constitutional. The drug is often used by veterinarians to euthanize animals.

The Tennessean reported earlier this month that the state currently does not have access to the drug. Drugs used in lethal injections have become harder for states to secure because manufacturers have refused to sell them to prisons for executions.

Tennessee has passed a law that allows for death by electrocution in the event that drugs used for lethal injection are unavailable.

The Supreme Court decision stems from a lawsuit filed in 2013 by four condemned prisoners that several other inmates were later allowed to join.