Judge To Hear Arguments In Death Penalty Lawsuit

An administrative law judge is scheduled to hear a lawsuit today brought by attorneys for five death-row inmates against the Council of State.

Arguments are expected on whether the council violated the law by failing to take public input before approving a revised execution procedure.

The council approved a procedure in February that requires a doctor to monitor "essential body functions" and notify a warden if the inmate shows signs of "undue pain and suffering." Defense attorneys have said that conflicts with the state medical board, which says that a physician who participates in an execution could be subject to discipline.

That decision led to a series of legal actions. A state judge has placed five executions on hold and --no-- other executions have been scheduled.