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New Mississippi law blocks 1 appeal over death penalty drug

JACKSON (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.”

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.