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Judges approves settlement in Arizona death-row lawsuit

A federal judge has approved a settlement between the state and a group of condemned prisoners who sued over how Arizona conducts executions.

The agreement limits the power of the Department of Corrections to change execution drugs at the last minute. It also requires that drugs be tested before use and bars the state from using expired drugs.

U.S. District Judge Neil Wake signed off on the deal Thursday. It also bars the use of some paralyzing drugs.

The prisoners argued that the state’s execution procedures violated their constitutional rights to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and have due process.

The state already agreed not to again use a sedative called midazolam.

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