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Judge rules Tennessee can use lethal injection drugs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee judge has upheld the state's use of controversial drugs to execute inmates after a challenge by 33 inmates on death row.

Kelley Henry, one of the lawyers representing the inmates, said the plaintiffs will appeal.

The Tennessean reports Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle issued the ruling Thursday evening saying the inmates failed to meet two necessary bars. Lyle ruled the lawyers didn't prove that there is a substantially less painful means to carry out the execution or that the drugs the state plans to use would cause the inmate to be tortured to death.

Attorneys for the state and the inmates concluded a nearly two-week trial Tuesday over the new lethal injection procedure.

Tennessee's first execution since 2009 is scheduled for Aug. 9.