A US judge has temporarily blocked the state of Mississippi from carrying out executions.
Judge Henry T Wingate issued a temporary restraining order in a case where three inmates have sued.
An online federal court docket reflects that Judge Wingate has issued a restraining order, but no written copy is available. Jim Craig, a lawyer for two of the inmates, said the order was given verbally.
A spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Corrections confirmed the state will appeal.
Prisoners say they face risks of excruciating pain during an execution, which violates the US Constitution’s Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
The lawsuit says there’s no guarantee that Mississippi can mix a safe and effective anaesthetic to knock out prisoners, and that prisoners could remain conscious during execution.