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State asks judge to back execution changes

Published On: Aug 05 2013 02:03:26 PM MDT
Helena Capitol Summer
HELENA, Mont. -

The state is asking a judge to back its revised lethal-injection procedures and dismiss claims that the changes still put condemned prisoners at risk of unnecessary suffering.
Assistant Attorney General Mark Fowler says the American Civil Liberties Union and two Montana death-row inmates are rehashing old arguments that have already been decided and bringing up new ones that should be barred by District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock.
Fowler asked Sherlock in Friday's court filing to reject the request to rule the execution-method changes unconstitutional.
Sherlock ruled in September that state law requires two drugs to be used, not three. He also ruled the previous procedures did not ensure qualified individuals were verifying the inmate was incapable of feeling pain.
Fowler says January's changes to the execution method addressed Sherlock's concerns.