A Georgia judge has rejected a legal challenge from a death row inmate concerning the state's switch to a new lethal injection drug.
Superior Court Judge Wendy Shoob of Atlanta on Wednesday denied a motion to halt the execution of Roy Willard Blankenship, who is set to be put to death Thursday for the 1978 murder of an elderly Savannah woman.
Blankenship's complaint centered on Georgia's decision to swap the sedative sodium thiopental for pentobarbital in its three-drug execution combination.
Shoob said Blankenship cannot meet the legal burden proving that use of the drug violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. She also noted that the drug was found constitutional by every other court to address the issue.
Blankenship's execution would be the first in Georgia using pentobarbital.