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Court to Question Execution Drug

Before the killer of a Florida state trooper is executed, the Florida Supreme Court says it wants a hearing on the drug that is expected to be used, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. The Florida Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing over whether the drug midazolam should be used in Paul Augustus Howell’s execution scheduled for Feb. 26. Howell’s attorneys say the drug is more likely to cause him an agonizing and painful death because of his history of mental illness and brain damage. Midazolam was used in three Florida executions since October and raised questions about whether it causes inmates to be fully unconscious before they are put to death.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.