Oklahoma Executes Man Using Animal Drug

John Duty executed with new mixture of lethal injection drugs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2010 1:19 AM CST
Updated Dec 17, 2010 4:35 AM CST
In this Oct. 2, 2003 photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, John Duty is shown.    (AP Photo/Oklahoma Department of Corrections)

(Newser) – Oklahoma has found a way around the nationwide shortage of a drug used in lethal injections. Convicted murderer John David Duty was put to death yesterday using a cocktail of drugs that included pentobarbital, a sedative typically used to euthanize dogs and cats, Tulsa World reports. He is believed to be the first person in the US executed using the drug.

Lawyers for Duty—who was already serving three life sentences for rape, robbery, and shooting with intent to kill when he strangled his cellmate in 2001—argued that the drug was unproven and could result in a "tortuous execution." There were no apparent problems with the new drug at Duty's execution, and other states are expected to follow Oklahoma's lead if shortages of the traditional sodium thiopental continue.

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