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Arizona Agrees To End Use Of Midazolam In Executions

The state of Arizona has agreed to settle part of a lawsuit that challenges the way it carries out executions.

The settlement between the state and attorneys representing death-row inmates specifies that Arizona will never use Midazolam or any drug in the same class ever again.

The plaintiffs claim Midazolam has failed to keep the condemned prisoner adequately anesthetized during the execution and to bring about a quick and humane death.

Earlier this year, Arizona said it wasn't going to use Midazolam again after its supply expired and another supplier couldn't be found.

But Dale Baich, an assistant Federal Public Defender in the lawsuit, says it’s important to get that stance in writing because states can change their minds.

“Here, because this would be part of a settlement, Arizona will be bound by its agreement not to use the drug," Baich said.

The settlement does not end the litigation. There are still other issues pending before the District Court related to the discretion the director of the Department of Corrections has leading up to and during the execution.

The DOC was unavailable for comment.

Jimmy Jenkins was a producer and senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2021.