Court Weighs Who Decides On Execution Drugs

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Paul Ried was on death row for the 1997 series of killings during fast food robberies. (Getty Images)

Paul Ried was on death row for the 1997 series of killings during fast food robberies. (Getty Images)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina appeals court is considering whether the state’s proposed execution method of using lethal drugs is valid, less than a week after an Ohio  killer’s execution took him nearly a half hour of gasping and snorting before he died.

The state Court of Appeals hears arguments Tuesday from lawyers for four condemned killers who have challenged the legality of the state’s lethal injection execution procedures since 2007. North Carolina hasn’t carried out executions since 2006.

The case involves whether the state’s top public safety official can determine the combination of lethal drugs used or whether that decision must go through a rule-making process required of other decisions. That official decided last October that executions would use one lethal chemical instead of three drugs.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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