HELENA, Mont. - Attorneys for two death-row inmates are questioning whether Montana Department of Justice officials told a witness to change his testimony in a case to halt lethal injections.
District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock last year effectively blocked executions in Montana after deciding one drug did not meet the requirement that it be an "ultra-fast-acting barbiturate."
State attorneys argued pentobarbital is ultra-fast acting. Their expert, Auburn University pharmacy school dean Roswell Lee Evans, testified that it could be considered so, but that's not how it is classified.
ACLU of Montana Legal Director Jim Taylor says Evans' testimony in a separate Tennessee case raises the question of whether Montana attorneys told Evans to change his testimony.
Assistant Attorney General Ben Reed says the accusation is speculative and Evans' testimony was consistent.
District Judge Deann Cooney has scheduled a Nov. 18 hearing.
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