Judge approves use of new execution drug

New drug could prevent pain during lethal injection

Published On: Nov 26 2013 09:41:39 AM EST
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

A Florida judge is approving the use of a new drug being used in executions.

Circuit Judge Phyllis Rosier on Monday ruled that the sedative midazolam hydrochloride is capable of preventing condemned inmates from experiencing pain during a lethal injection.

Rosier held a hearing last week on the drug after the Florida Supreme Court delayed the execution of a man who killed a prison guard while on death row for two other slayings.

Askari Abdullah Muhammad, formerly known as Thomas Knight, was scheduled to be executed Dec. 3. The court delayed that until at least Dec. 27.

Knight, 62, has been on death row for nearly 40 years. He was convicted of fatally stabbing Corrections Officer Richard Burke with the sharpened end of a spoon in 1980.