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Judge delays oral arguments on Arkansas execution law

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 17, 2014 at 7:09 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK — A judge has rescheduled oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging Arkansas' new lethal injection law.

The arguments were originally scheduled to be heard Friday in Pulaski County Circuit Court, but Judge Wendell Griffen delayed the proceedings until Feb. 14.

Nine death-row inmates are suing the state over an execution law that legislators enacted last year. That new law came about after the state Supreme Court struck down the previous one in 2012, saying legislators had ceded too much control over execution procedures to correction officials.

The inmates say the new law still gives too much power to the state's Department of Correction. The state wants the law upheld.

The delay was requested because a lead attorney was unavailable for arguments.

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