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Tennessee High Court Fast-Tracks Lethal Injection Challenge

Lukasz Stefanski
123rf Stock Photo

  The Tennessee Supreme Court is fast-tracking the appeal in a challenge of the state's lethal injection drugs.

After the move Monday, Justice Sharon Lee warned in her dissent that the court's review shouldn't be "so hurried that it is meaningless" in an apparent effort to clear the way for executions scheduled in October and December.

The Supreme Court took control of the challenge Monday from the Court of Appeals and scheduled oral arguments on Oct. 3. The next scheduled execution is Oct. 11.

Billy Ray Irick was put to death Thursday in Tennessee's first execution since 2009. Tennessee's Supreme Court ruled against delaying the execution, saying the challenge of the execution drugs was unlikely to succeed. Lee dissented.

Gov. Bill Haslam and the U.S. Supreme Court also declined a stay.

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