sodium thiopental

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Meet the Guy Who Illegally Sold Execution Drugs to 4 States

Buzzfeed digs into Harris Pharma of Salt Lake City, India

(Newser) - Four US states bought execution drugs illegally supplied from a man in India, according to a report from Buzzfeed . Journalists Chris McDaniel and Tasneem Nashrulla say Chris Harris of Harris Pharma, a self-described drug manufacturer and distributor in Salt Lake City, India, has earned tens of thousands of dollars from... More »

Documents: Arizona Tried to Illegally Import Execution Drug

Federal agents stopped the shipment at the airport

(Newser) - Arizona tried to illegally import a lethal injection drug, but federal agents stopped the shipment at the Phoenix airport, according to documents obtained by the AP. Arizona paid nearly $27,000 for sodium thiopental, an anesthetic that has been used to carry out executions but is no longer manufactured by... More »

Missouri to Use Jacko Death Drug in Executions

It plans to use propofol

(Newser) - The same anesthetic that caused Michael Jackson's overdose death is now the drug of choice for executions in Missouri, causing a stir among critics who question how the state can guarantee a drug untested for lethal injection won't cause pain and suffering for the condemned. Last week the... More »

Virginian Executed, Death-Drug Maker Objects

Pharma firm opposes 'distressing misuse' of epilepsy drug

(Newser) - Virginia has become the latest state to execute an inmate using a new cocktail of drugs for the lethal injection despite the manufacturer's objections. Jerry Jackson, 30, was executed for the 2001 rape and murder of an 88-year-old widow, Reuters reports. Pentobarbital, a drug used to treat epilepsy, was... More »

Drug Maker 'Horrified' It's Being Used in Executions

Pentobarbital was intended as an epilepsy drug

(Newser) - A Danish pharmaceutical company says it's desperately seeking a way to stop US prisons from executing people with its epilepsy drug Nembutal. “We are horrified at this fact, and we are looking at ways to prevent prisons from getting this drug,” a spokesman for Lundbeck A/S said.... More »

DEA Seizes Georgia's Execution Drug

Sodium thiopental may have been acquired improperly

(Newser) - The DEA has seized Georgia’s supply of sodium thiopental, one of the key drugs used to execute prisoners, because it believes the state may have improperly imported it. Like many states, Georgia was forced to import the drug from England last year thanks to a shortage in the US,... More »

Ohio Uses Single Drug to Execute Killer

States coping with nationwide shortage of usual drug

(Newser) - Ohio today became a ground-breaker in how to execute criminals despite the nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental following the discontinuation of the drug by its sole producer : Officials executed a convicted murderer—37-year-old Johnnie Baston—with just one drug, pentobarbital. It's traditionally used to put down dogs, cats, and horses,... More »

Sole Producer of Lethal Injection Drug Quits

Hospira's decision could cause delays for states

(Newser) - The capital punishment system faces a serious obstacle: the only US producer of an anesthetic used in lethal injection has decided to stop making it, the Wall Street Journal reports. Thiopental sodium is made exclusively by Hospira, an Illinois company. It had already suspended production in 2009 because of manufacturing... More »

Oklahoma Executes Man Using Animal Drug

John Duty executed with new mixture of lethal injection drugs

(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... More »

Documents Detail California's Search for Death Row Drugs

Undertaking reads like spy fiction

(Newser) - The e-mail from one California prison official to another almost reads like something out of a spy novel: "May have a secret and important mission for you." Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation undersecretary Scott Kernan sent that message to assistant secretary Anthony Chaus on Sept. 29. The "... More »

UK Blocks Export of Popular Execution Drug to US

Thiopental sodium can't be exported for use in executions

(Newser) - Soon, the US will no longer be able to execute criminals using thiopental sodium from the UK. The UK government will issue an order requiring suppliers of the anesthetic to obtain a license before exporting to the US—and if there is a risk it will be used in executions,... More »

State Fights to Use Animal Death Drug on Humans

Because Oklahoma is short on the anesthetic used in lethal injections

(Newser) - Oklahoma is short on the anesthetic it uses to execute prisoners—so it’s asking a court if it can substitute a drug used to euthanize animals. Several states are dealing with a shortage of sodium thiopental, the only anesthetic yet used in lethal injections; its only manufacturer has shut... More »

Arizona Executes Man Using Unapproved Drug

Shortage of sodium thiopental could be a big problem

(Newser) - What to do when faced with a nationwide shortage of a lethal injection drug? In Arizona's case, take the slightly sketchy step of buying it from somewhere else. The state last night executed Jeffrey Landrigan for a 1989 murder in the state's first execution since 2007—using sodium thiopental it... More »

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