Arizona

Aug 21, 2012 10:01 PM by Associated Press

Legal Challenges to state's execution protocol may end

PHOENIX (AP) - A legal challenge to Arizona's execution protocol may go away.

A federal court hearing scheduled Wednesday has been called off at the request of lawyers for the state and death-row inmates.

At issue in the case are inmates' claims that their rights to protection against cruel and unusual punishment could be put at risk by how the state conducts executions.

Lawyers say the state is modifying its protocol to reflect changes made in recent executions. Those include using a closed-circuit television feed so witnesses can watch insertions of intravenous drug lines.

According to lawyers for inmates, anticipated protocol changes could reduce or eliminate the need for the lawsuit.

The case is being paused until the state issues a new protocol and inmates' lawyers review it.

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