Arizona unable to carry out lethal injections after abandoning drug used in botched execution
The state of Arizona is unable to carry out any executions after the Department of Corrections announced it would not use a drug involved in a two-hour lethal injection process, the Arizona Republic reported.
Officials said in a document filed on Friday that because the department lacked enough midazolam to use in lethal injections and was unable to acquire more, that the drug would be eliminated from use.
“As we have said all along, midazolam is not an appropriate drug for use in executions, and this was demonstrated by the prolonged two-hour execution of Joseph Wood,” said attorney Dale Baich, who has been representing death-row inmates in a lawsuit calling for the drug to be removed from the cocktail used in the injections.
Wood’s execution following a murder conviction in 2014 drew criticism toward the department following reports that he was injected with 750mg of midazolam and hydromorphone — 15 times the amount recommended under state protocol for either drug.
Midazolam, a sedative, was also used in the execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma, which also went poorly.
According to Buzzfeed, the state still has execution protocols in place involving the use of sodium thiopental or pentobarbital.
However, officials informed District Court Judge Neil Wake that they have been unable to obtain either drug, in part because a shipment of sodium thiopental from India was detained by US Food and Drug Administration officials.