A federal appeals court is refusing to stop the scheduled execution of Idaho inmate Paul Ezra Rhoades.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday denied Rhoades' plea to halt his lethal injection scheduled for Friday. Rhoades' lawyers argued that Idaho's new lethal injection policy is flawed and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

But a unanimous three-judge panel upheld the ruling of a lower court that said the new guidelines complied with the U.S. Supreme Court's approval of lethal injection in a 2008 ruling.

Rhoadeswas sentenced to death for the 1987 kidnappings and murders of 34-year-old Idaho Falls teacher Susan Michelbacher, and 21-year-old newlywed and Blackfoot convenience store clerk Stacy Dawn Baldwin.

Associated Press