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Federal Appeals Court Ends Hold On Mississippi Executions

The ruling ends an injunction in place since August 2015.

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WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Wednesday ended an injunction stopping Mississippi from proceeding with executions since August 2015.

In a lawsuit brought by death row inmates, they argue that Mississippi's execution protocol, which includes the possible use of pentobarbital, violates the state requirement that an "ultra short-acting barbiturate or other similar drug" be used. In their lawsuit, they claim that the drug doesn't meet that definition and that the protocol therefore violated the inmates' constitutional due process rights.

A federal judge in Mississippi agreed in August 2015, entering an injunction against the state that barred it from proceeding with executions.

On Wednesday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, ending the injunction and holding that there was no violation of either procedural or substantive due process rights.

"If Plaintiffs wish to protest that Mississippi’s revised lethal injection protocol is an unlawful deviation from Mississippi’s laws, Mississippi’s courts are the appropriate venue for their suit," Judge Jennifer Elrod wrote for the three-judge panel.

Read the 5th Circuit's opinion:

Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association award for journalist of the year.

Contact Chris Geidner at chris.geidner@buzzfeed.com.

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