Pharmacy Won't Help Missouri Execute This Man

Oklahoma's Apothecary Shoppe responds to Michael Taylor's suit
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2014 12:13 AM CST
Updated Feb 18, 2014 8:13 AM CST
In this handout photo from the Missouri Correctional offices, Michael Anthony Taylor of Kansas City is shown.   (AP Photo/Missouri Correctional Office)

(Newser) – Michael Taylor is scheduled to be executed by the state of Missouri next Wednesday, and an Oklahoma pharmacy says it will not provide the drug needed to carry out his fate. Taylor had filed a lawsuit against Tulsa's Apothecary Shoppe that his lawyers argued was providing a compounded version of pentobarbital that could cause "inhumane pain." The company opted to settle in advance of today's scheduled court hearing, agreeing not to prepare or provide the drug and acknowledging that it had not already delivered the drug to be used in Taylor's execution. But the AP reports there's a big unknown: whether the agreement will prevent or delay the lethal injection.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon last week suggested that the execution could be carried out regardless of whether the Apothecary Shoppe delivered the drug, but would not answer a straight "yes" or "no" when asked if Missouri had enough drugs for the execution—though he twice stressed that the Department of Corrections was prepared. Things get murkier from there: The state has never announced where it gets its drugs from, maintaining that the pharmacy is part of the execution team and therefore shielded from public disclosure; the Apothecary Shoppe won't confirm that it is that source. St. Louis Public Radio reports that a top state official last month admitted that the state had a stash of midazolam, which was used in Ohio last month. Taylor is on death row for raping and killing 15-year-old Ann Harrison after abducting her from a Kansas City school bus stop in 1989; he was to be executed in 2006, but was awarded a stay by the Supreme Court over concerns about the state's three-drug method. (Read more Missouri stories.)

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