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.