The Supreme Court has cleared the way for three U.S. states to set new execution dates for three inmates who were granted last-minute reprieves by the justices last year.

The court on Monday turned down appeals from Thomas Arthur of Alabama, Earl Wesley Berry of Mississippi and Carlton Turner of Texas. The court blocked their executions last year while it considered a challenge to Kentucky's lethal injection procedures.

The justices said those procedures are not unconstitutionally cruel, a decision that almost certainly will lead to a resumption of executions after a 7-month hiatus.

The high court's last-minute orders temporarily sparing the three inmates automatically expired when the justices denied their appeals Monday.