UK to Ban Export of Execution Drugs to US

We 'needed to take the lead' on this, says Brit minister
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Apr 15, 2011 8:26 AM CDT
The death chamber at the state prison in Jackson, GA, where federal drug agents seized its supply of a sedative used in lethal injections.   (AP Photo/Ric Feld, File)

(Newser) – The British export of three drugs used in US executions will be banned within a matter of days, according to officials. Pentobarbital, pancuronium bromide, and potassium chloride will all be blocked by the government, which is also urging a Europe-wide ban on sales of the drugs to the US. "We oppose the death penalty in all circumstances and are clear that British drugs should not be used to carry out lethal injections," said the nation's business secretary. "This is an issue on which we felt we had to take the lead."

The move follows an investigation that discovered that the amount of drugs sold by British businesses to the US since last summer was enough to execute as many as 100 inmates, reports the Guardian. Officials last year banned another little-used drug that was being used in the US by prison officials grappling with a death-drug shortage in America. An anti-death penalty group in London warned that US prisons are already turning to a Danish company to buy the drugs they need.

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