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New Lawsuit Challenges State Execution Drugs

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A lawsuit filed against the Mississippi Department of Corrections targets the integrity of drugs used to execute inmates.

The suit was filed Friday in Hinds County Chancery Court by the MacArthur Justice Center on behalf of death row inmates Michelle Byrom and Charles Ray Crawford.

MacArthur attorney Vanessa Carroll charges the state buys drugs from a compounding pharmacy and their integrity cannot be verified.

The lawsuit argues that by buying drugs that are locally mixed and not from a primary manufacturer the Corrections Department could acquire drugs that are counterfeit, contaminated, expired or not potent enough to work properly.

The lawsuit asks a judge to bar executions of the inmates until the state proves the integrity of the drugs.

Corrections officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.