Judge blocks Arkansas from using execution drug

One of three drugs Arkansas uses for lethal injections is set to expire when the new year begins, and a prison system spokesman says the state does not yet have a replacement. (MGN photo)

An Arkansas judge has blocked the state from using a lethal injection after a drug company argued it was misled by the state about the use of the drug, potentially halting the state's plan to put several men to death by the end of the month.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray on Wednesday granted a temporary restraining order to McKesson Corp. The medical supply company says it sold vecuronium bromide to be used for inmate care. The drug is one of three used in Arkansas' lethal injection protocol.

The ruling came moments after the Arkansas Supreme Court granted a stay to one of two men scheduled for execution Thursday night.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says she will appeal the judge's decision to the Arkansas Supreme Court, which previously vacated a similar temporary restraining order by Judge Wendell Griffen.

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