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New Mississippi law blocks 1 appeal over death penalty drug

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Supreme Court has blocked a death row inmate’s appeal over the state’s planned use of a lethal-injection drug.

In an order Thursday, justices said Thomas Loden’s 2016 appeal over the sedative midazolam is moot because legislators this year rewrote a state law on death penalty drugs.

The old law required an “ultra-short acting barbiturate or other similar drug” as part of a three-drug lethal injection mix. Loden said midazolam didn’t fit that definition.

The new law requires “an appropriate anesthetic or sedative.”

Several states have struggled to obtain certain drugs since 2010, as manufacturers refuse to sell them for executions.

Loden was sentenced to death in 2001 for killing 16-year-old Leesa Gray in north Mississippi’s Itawamba County in 2000. His execution date has not been set.

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