By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A federal appeals court is hearing arguments over the constitutionality of Ohio's lethal injection process as the state tries to start carrying out executions once again.
State attorneys say they've provided plenty of evidence to show that the contested first drug in Ohio's three-drug method will put inmates into a deep state of unconsciousness.
The state also argues that the U.S. Supreme Court last year upheld the use of that drug, midazolam (mih-DAY'-zoh-lam), in a case out of Oklahoma.
Lawyers for death row inmates are challenging the effectiveness of midazolam.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati scheduled arguments Tuesday.
Ohio is appealing a federal judge's decision that rejected the state's current three-drug execution method.
Ohio plans to execute condemned child killer Ronald Phillips on May 10.