Arkansas Revises Execution Protocols

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Executioners administering lethal injections in Arkansas will follow methods used by "medical paraprofessionals" to ensure that condemned inmates are unconscious before delivering the two final drugs to carry out the death penalty, a revised state protocol says.

The state attorney general's office offered the revised lethal injection procedures as part of an effort to lift federal court stays of execution against inmates challenging the method.

The new procedure, dated May 22, also adds mixing the three drugs used in Arkansas executions in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications and the "already existing practice" that executioners have at least two years of medical experience.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)