After Execution, Texas Has Just One Dose Left

Hit man executed with next-to-last dose of pentobarbital
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2015 10:14 PM CDT
Updated Mar 12, 2015 12:30 AM CDT
After Execution, Texas Has Just One Dose Left
This undated handout photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Manuel Vasquez.   (AP Photo/Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

Texas executes more people than any other state—and all but a handful of the world's countries—but it's not clear whether it will be able to continue for long after yesterday evening's execution of Mexican Mafia hit man Manuel Vasquez. The 46-year-old, convicted of the 1999 murder of a San Antonio woman who didn't pay the gang's "dime tax" on drugs, was executed with a dose of pentobarbital, leaving Texas with just one dose of the sedative left and six executions scheduled in the next couple of months, the AP reports.

Randall Mays, who killed two police officers in a 2007 shootout, is scheduled to be executed with the state's last dose of the drug next week, and it's not clear whether Texas will use a different drug for subsequent executions if it is unable to secure a new source of pentobarbital, which other states have struggled to obtain, reports the Texas Tribune. "I remain optimistic we'll be able to carry out executions according to the schedule," the director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice tells the AP. "Time will tell." (Earlier this week, Utah lawmakers voted to allow execution by firing squad in the event of drug shortages.)

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