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Federal judge overrules the governor

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - U.S. District Judge James Brady ruled that state corrections officials have given Christopher Sepulvado too little information about the drug that will be used in the lethal injection and the methods involved in carrying out the execution.

Sepulvado, from DeSoto Parish, was convicted of murder and sentenced to death several decades ago for the beating and scalding death of his 6-year-old stepson.

A group of Catholic Bishops had asked Governor Jindal to top the execution because it was scheduled to take place on Ash Wednesday, generally a day recognized by the church as a day of atonement and forgiveness. The governor denied the request, saying the execution would go on as scheduled.

But Judge Brady says that without that information about the drug that will be used in the lethal injection and the methods involved in carrying out the execution, Sepulvado's lawyers can't protect his constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment. 

Until this week, the Department of Corrections hadn't confirmed it switched from a three-chemical lethal injection process to a one-drug execution method. The department gave the name of the drug it plans to use, but offered no further details to Sepulvado's lawyers.

No new execution date has been set.

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