- Associated Press - Sunday, December 25, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - A judge has approved a settlement that ends part of a lawsuit that protests the way Arizona has carries out the death penalty.

The settlement dismisses a claim by death row inmates that the sedative midazolam doesn’t ensure that condemned prisoners won’t feel the pain caused by another drug as part of a three-drug combination.

The agreement was reached earlier this week by the state and lawyers for the inmates.

U.S. District Judge Neil Wake approved the settlement Thursday.

If the state intends on using the drug again, inmates could resurrect the midazolam claim and a permanent prohibition on using the drug would take effect.

A remaining claim in the lawsuit alleges the state has abused its discretion in the methods and amounts of drugs used in past executions.

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