Court Says Lethal Injection Drugs Don’t Need Testing Before Use

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Michael MarksSeptember 13, 2016 12:00 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

A federal appeals court rejected a lawsuit from Texas inmates asking for lethal injection drugs to be tested just before they’re used. All five inmates are on death row.

Their lawyers argued that the drugs should be retested right before execution to ensure they won’t cause unusual pain. The drug in question is pentobarbital, which causes cardiac arrest in high doses. The court said there have been no failed executions in Texas due to the sedative.

Federal regulators will consider proposals to increase protections for coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, oil and gas companies can bid to lease offshore federal property. And while some portions of the Flower Garden Marine Sanctuary are federally protected from drilling, others aren’t. Dave Fehling of Houston Public Media reports that could soon change:

“There’s also a new environmental twist that could limit where drillers can drill when they decide the price of oil is high enough to warrant it,” Fehling says. “There are proposals to greatly expand a protected area, an aquatic sanctuary known as the Flower Gardens. Federal regulators will hold a public meeting this afternoon in Houston to answer questions about the environmental impact of drilling in 72 million acres of the Gulf that’ll be offered for leases in 2018.”

The Flower Gardens are located about 100 miles off the Gulf Coast. Advocates warn that failing to further protect the Flower Gardens could harm the delicate coral systems they’re made of.

Dallas may soon regulate Little Free Libraries, the small neighborhood book cabinets. They operate on a take-a-book, bring-a-book basis, and right now very few cities have regulations on them.

The new rules would set standards for the libraries’ size and placement. It’s unclear what would happen to the existing libraries that don’t meet the standards. The new rules will take effect once the City Council approves them.