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Oklahoma Alters Execution Procedure

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma has changed the way it administers fatal drugs during executions amid three court challenges to the process.

Under the revised procedure, a death row inmate will receive a larger dose of anesthesia before being injected with the drug that stops the inmate's heart.

The old process called for an inmate to receive one dose of a sedative and then two injections of sodium chloride, which would cause the inmate's heart to stop. After that, the inmate would receive another dose of the sedative.

Anesthesiologist Doctor Mark Dershwitz from the University of Massachusetts Medical School suggested that there was no reason for the second dose of the sedative.

Now, an inmate will be injected with a double dose of the sedative at the beginning.

Dershwitz says that change further reduces the chance that a condemned inmate will wake up after the sedative has been administered and before the lethal drugs take effect.

Inmate James Patrick Malicoat is scheduled to be executed Tuesday.
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