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Hearing this week on execution-drug issue

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 10, 2014 at 7:14 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK — A hearing is set this week on a lawsuit by nine prisoners on Arkansas' death row who object to the way the state chooses the mix of drugs that are to be used in lethal injections.

The inmates are to argue at the Friday hearing in Pulaski County Circuit Court that the Legislature gave too much authority to the state Correction Department, which selects the drug.

Legislators passed a new execution law last year because the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down the previous law in 2012, saying legislators had ceded too much control over execution procedures to corrections officials.

The inmates also argue that the law shouldn't apply to them because it wasn't on the books at the times of their crimes.

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