By ANDREW DeMILLO Associated Press
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge has upheld Arkansas’ execution process, rejecting death row inmates’ claims that the use of a sedative amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker on Monday ruled the state’s use of midazolam in lethal injections as constitutional and dismissed claims that less painful methods of execution are available. Attorneys for the inmates have said those alternatives include a firing squad and a barbiturate commonly used in physician assisted suicide. Arkansas doesn’t have any executions scheduled, and its supply of lethal injection drugs has expired.