Death row inmates' suit over untried execution drugs dismissed

HOUSTON, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- The lawsuit of two Texas death row inmates, claiming they will be executed with drugs of unknown potency, was dismissed by a federal judge in Houston.

Thomas Whitaker, Perry Williams and Michael Yowell filed the suit in October, saying the Texas Department of Criminal Justice exhausted its supply of phenobarbital, the drug required in the state's execution protocol.


Other drugs never used in an execution, including propofol, midazolam and hydromorphone, have been obtained, their complaint said, adding, "expert evidence available to date indicates that use of any of these drugs runs a substantial risk of grave pain."

Yowell was executed Oct. 9. Execution dates for Whitaker and Williams have not yet been scheduled, the Houston Chronicle said Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes dismissed the suit last week, noting that the prisoners do not know the means of their executions, "their claim of an injury from that unknown means is hypothetical."

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