Arkansas judge blocks use of one of three drugs in lethal injections
Gurney used for lethal injections (AFP)

An Arkansas judge on Friday issued a temporary restraining order barring the state from administering one of three drugs it planned to use in a series of lethal injections scheduled to begin early next week.

Judge Wendell Griffen of the Sixth Judicial Circuit in Little Rock issued the order after a petition from McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc. The company said the Arkansas prison system failed to return a supply of vercuronium bromide when it learned the state intended to use it for executions, in violation of an understanding at the time of the sale.

(Reporting By Steve Barnes in Little Rock; Writing by Frank McGurty; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)