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Judge hearing challenge to Fla. execution drug
Judge hearing challenge by convicted cop-killer to use of new Fla. execution drug
By The Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) ' A judge in Miami will hear a challenge to the state's planned use of a new execution drug.

The Florida Supreme Court last month ordered the hearing in the case of 61-year-old Manuel Valle, convicted in the 1978 shooting death of Coral Gables police officer Louis Pena.

Valle's scheduled execution Tuesday was stayed for a month to allow arguments over Florida's plan to use pentobarbital in place of another drug experiencing a shortage.

Valle's lawyers contend he could feel pain or harm because the drug has never been extensively tested on humans. It has been used in other states but never in Florida. Pentobarbital renders a person unconscious.

Circuit Judge Jacqueline Hogan Scola must rule on Valle's execution challenge by Friday.

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