Justices uphold use of drug implicated in botched executions

FILE - This November 2005, file photo, shows the death chamber at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio. The Ohio Supreme Court is weighing arguments by death row inmate Romell Broom that allowing the state prisons agency to try again to execute him amounts to cruel and unusual punishment and double jeopardy. The court planned to hear arguments Tuesday, June 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has upheld the use of a controversial drug that has been implicated in several botched executions.

The justices on Monday voted 5-4 in a case from Oklahoma that the sedative midazolam (mih-DAZZ-oh-lam) can be used in executions without violating the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

The drug was used in executions in Arizona, Ohio and Oklahoma in 2014 that took longer than usual and raised concerns that it did not perform its intended task of putting inmates into a coma-like sleep.

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