Arkansas faces new court fight over sedative for executions

Arkansas faces new court fight over sedative for executions
A federal lawsuit filed by death row inmates is renewing a court fight over a sedative Arkansas uses for lethal injections, two years after the state raced to put eight convicted killers to death before a batch of the drug expired.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal lawsuit filed by death row inmates is renewing a court fight over a sedative Arkansas uses for lethal injections, two years after the state raced to put eight convicted killers to death before a batch of the drug expired.

The federal trial that begins Tuesday could impact Arkansas' efforts to restart executions, which had been on hold due to a lack of lethal injection drugs. It'll also be the latest in a series of legal battles over midazolam, a sedative that other states have moved away from amid claims it doesn't render inmates fully unconscious during lethal injections.

Arkansas executed four inmates in 2017, after four others were halted by the courts. The trial is expected to revisit two of those executions that inmates’ attorneys say were problematic.