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Oct 19, 7:44 PM EDT

Inmates ask high court to review Arkansas execution ruling

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Nine Arkansas death row inmates are asking the nation's highest court to review a decision upholding the state's lethal injection law, saying not taking up the case would lead to a wave of "intolerably painful" executions.

The inmates on Wednesday filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking justices to review the state Supreme Court's split June decision that upheld the law, which keeps the source of the state's lethal injection drugs secret. The Arkansas court stayed its mandate while the inmates asked the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in.

The inmates argue the law puts them at risk of being subjected to unconstitutional cruel or unusual punishment.

Arkansas has not executed an inmate since 2005 because of legal challenges and the difficulty of obtaining execution drugs.

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