Georgia won’t say where it got the drug it plans to use in prisoner’s execution

By David Ferguson
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 8:21 EDT
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Doctor filling syringe with fluid via Shutterstock
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The state of Georgia is refusing to say where it obtained the lethal dose of the drug pentobarbital which will be used to execute a prisoner on Tuesday night. Rachel Maddow devoted a segment to her Monday night show to discussing the reasoning behind the state’s refusal and the dwindling options for states that continue to execute prisoners.

The U.S. is one of the few nations left that uses the death penalty. Maddow noted that the U.S. is fifth in the top six nations that execute prisoners, alongside Somalia, China, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

“Recently, though, we have not been killing anyone,” said Maddow, because of the botched execution in Oklahoma of Clayton Lockett. The state used an undisclosed substance to kill the prisoner, but ended up torturing him for nearly an hour before he died of a heart attack after the vein through which the drug was being administered collapsed.

Since then, she said, there haven’t been any executions. Stays have been issued to prisoners who were scheduled to die by lethal injection.

“But tomorrow night, the state of Georgia is poised to break the streak,” she said.

Convicted murderer and rapist Marcus Wellons is scheduled to be executed with a lethal dose of the drug pentobarbital on Tuesday night in Georgia. The DEA seized all of the state’s previous execution drug when it came to light that it had been obtained from a shady London driving school.

Georgia got the pentobarbital from a domestic source, but the state refuses to disclose what compounding pharmacy provided the chemical or what doctor wrote the prescription.

“Tomorrow’s execution will be the first time that Georgia has used a compounded lethal injection drug,” Maddow said. “When other states have used compounded drugs for their executions, it has often ended with some horrific complications.”

Notwithstanding a stay of execution, Marcus Wellons is sentenced to die at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

Watch the video, embedded below:

[image of doctor filling syringe with fluid via Shutterstock.com]

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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