Catholic leaders decry federal judge’s ruling on lethal injections

Catholic leaders expressed disappointment with a June 6 ruling by a federal judge in Oklahoma calling the state’s three-drug lethal injection method constitutional.

The ruling enables the state to move ahead with executions for more than two dozen death-row inmates who were plaintiffs in a case arguing against the lethal injection drugs and requesting another form of execution.

Judge Stephen Friot, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, announced his decision just over three months after a weeklong trial when attorneys for 28 death-row inmates said that the first of the three drugs used in lethal injection — the sedative midazolam — did not prevent inmates from feeling pain.

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