Judge OKs Oklahoma's Lethal Injection Protocols - NBC 6 South Florida
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Judge OKs Oklahoma's Lethal Injection Protocols

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    Judge OKs Oklahoma's Lethal Injection Protocols
    AP
    FILE - In this April 15, 2008 file photo, the gurney in the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary is pictured in McAlester, Okla. Oklahoma investigators are poised to release a report Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014 into the flawed execution of Clayton Lockett, a death row inmate who gasped and writhed on a gurney after being injected with three lethal drugs. Gov. Mary Fallin ordered the investigation after it took 43 minutes to kill Lockett on April 29. (AP Photo/File)

    A federal judge says Oklahoma's lethal injection protocols are constitutional and that the state can proceed with the scheduled executions of four death row inmates early next year.

    U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot on Monday ruled against a group of condemned inmates who say the state's use of the sedative midazolam in a three-drug method presents a risk of cruel and unusual punishment.

    They sued after the April 29 execution of Clayton Lockett, who writhed on the gurney, mumbled and lifted his head during his 43-minute execution that the state tried to halt before it was over.

    The state has purchased new medical equipment, adopted new protocols and ordered more training, and prison officials say they're ready for the next execution on Jan. 15.