Alabama postpones executions as Supreme Court reviews drug

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama has agreed to stay pending executions as the U.S. Supreme Court reviews a drug that the state plans to use at the next lethal injection.

U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins on Wednesday said the state agreed to postpone arguments “in lethal injection cases across the board” until justices issue a decision.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office said Thursday that the office agreed to stays in three scheduled executions.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments April 29 in an Oklahoma case regarding the sedative midazolam. Oklahoma inmates argued the sedative is not effective and they will feel pain as subsequent drugs stop their lungs and heart.

Alabama has a new lethal injection procedure that begins with a dose of midazolam.