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Execution can go forward, La. court says

Jan. 28, 2013 at 3:47 PM

BATON ROUGE, La., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The Louisiana Supreme Court denied a stay of execution to a condemned inmate and his lawyers say they question the state's method of execution.

The court refused to hear an appeal of a Dec. 21 decision denying a stay of execution for Christopher Sepulvado, 69, who has remained on death row since his conviction in the 1992 beating and fatal scalding of his 6-year-old stepson.

The ruling leaves Sepulvado with dwindling chances of avoiding his Feb. 13 execution by lethal injection, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, reported Monday.

His lawyers argue he should be allowed to challenge the three-part drug combination Louisiana employs to execute death row inmates, claiming a worldwide shortage of one of the drugs, sodium pentathol, and questioning the execution procedure, the newspaper said.

The state protocol of lethal injection remains unclear, the lawyers say, and Sepulvado's rights are being violated, arguing the state either has no injection protocol or will not reveal it.

Pam Laborde, spokeswoman for the state's Department of Public Safety and Corrections, offered no comment, citing pending federal litigation.

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