Judge dismisses Alabama prisoner's lethal injection claim

AP News
Posted: May 08, 2017 2:26 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A judge has dismissed a death row inmate's claim that Alabama improperly allows "unaccountable bureaucrats" to decide how executions are carried out in the state.

Montgomery Circuit Judge Truman Hobbs on Monday ruled for the state. Inmate Tommy Arthur's lawsuit claimed it violates the separation of powers of the state constitution for state legislators to let the state prison system determine the state's lethal injection protocol.

Hobbs wrote that Arthur waited too late to raise that claim.

Arthur's lawyers also argue in a still-pending claim that the state is illegally refusing to turn over records from recent executions, including one where the inmate coughed for 13 minutes.

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Arthur is scheduled to be given a lethal injection on May 25 for the 1982 murder-for-hire slaying of Troy Wicker.