Defense attorneys rushing to stop Ohio's first execution in three years say the state's new lethal injection system is akin to burning inmates at the stake or burying them alive.

Lawyers for inmates scheduled to die beginning in January say the state's three-drug method announced Oct. 3 is worse than a similar procedure used years ago.

The attorneys say in a 527-page court filing Wednesday that the first drug in the procedure meant to sedate inmates will not prevent prisoners from experiencing severe pain from the next two drugs.

That drug, midazolam (mih-DAY'-zoh-lam), was used in problematic executions in Arizona and Ohio in 2014.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year upheld the use of midazolam in executions in a case out of Oklahoma.