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Appeals Court clears the way for 2 more Oklahoma executions

A federal appeals court in Denver has rejected a request from two Oklahoma death row inmates to temporarily halt their upcoming lethal injections.

A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the inmates' motion in a ruling on Monday. The decision paves the way for the state to carry out the executions of 46-year-old Donald Grant on Thursday and 35-year-old Gilbert Postelle on Feb. 17.

The two have argued that the state's current three-drug lethal injection protocol that uses midazolam as the first drug will expose them to a constitutionally unacceptable risk of severe pain.