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Tenn. inmate asks court to postpone Oct. 7 execution date

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Death row inmate Billy Ray Irick (EYE'-rik) is asking the Tennessee Supreme Court to postpone his Oct. 7 execution pending the outcome of a challenge to Tennessee's execution protocol.

Last December, the court moved Irick's execution date from January to October because of the pending lawsuit. Irick and nine other death row inmates are challenging the state's new one-drug lethal injection protocol, which replaces a three-drug protocol. They also are challenging how the drug, pentobarbital, is procured.

The state wants Irick's execution to go forward. The attorney general's office argues in a response earlier this week that other states have found similar one-drug protocols to be constitutional. Other states also have upheld the use of compounding pharmacies to procure the drug.

Irick was convicted of raping and murdering a 7-year-old Knoxville girl in 1985.