US court rejects execution protocol challenge - Updates with execution date set. For global distribution.
OKLAHOMA CITY _ A federal appeals court has rejected a convicted killer's challenge of Oklahoma's plans to use a different anesthetic in its execution protocol.
he 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the state's plans to use pentobarbital because of a nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental, the sedative normally used. Jeffrey Matthews had appealed a district court ruling in favor of the Department of Corrections.
The court said state witness Dr. Mark Dershwitz «persuasively characterized» the plan to use a 5,000 milligram dose of pentobarbital as an enormous overdose that alone likely would be fatal.
Matthews was convicted of killing his great-uncle in 1994.
A Jan. 11 execution date was set Tuesday. His attorney didn't return a call seeking comment.