Judge orders temporary halt to Mississippi executions
JACKSON, Miss. - A federal judge has temporarily blocked the state of Mississippi from carrying out executions.
U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday in a case where three inmates have sued.
An online federal court docket reflects that Wingate has issued a restraining order, but no written copy is available. Jim Craig, a lawyer for two inmates, says the order was given verbally.
A spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Corrections says the state will appeal.
Prisoners say they face risks of excruciating pain during an execution, which violates the U.S. Constitution's Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
The lawsuit says there's no guarantee that Mississippi can mix a safe and effective anesthetic to knock out prisoners, and that prisoners could remain conscious during execution.