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Mississippi execution uses sedative for first time

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Benny Joe Stevens, who was convicted of killing four people, including two children, has been executed by the state of Mississippi with a drug normally used to euthanize animals. Stevens, 52, was pronounced dead at 6:22 pm (23:22 GMT) at the state penitentiary in the town of…

Texas executes murderer with drug used on animals

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Texas put to death a man convicted of a 2001 rape and murder by using a sedative that has often served to euthanize animals, becoming the third state to do so. The southern state administered pentobarbital instead of sodium thiopental, which is no longer manufactured in the…

Alabama switches execution drug

WASHINGTON — Alabama, one of the US states carrying out the greatest number of executions, has suspended its use of the rapidly dwindling sedative sodium thiopental in favor of another death penalty drug. “Due to the national shortage of sodium thiopental, the Alabama Department of Corrections has amended its execution…

Texas illegally obtaining lethal drugs: lawyers

WASHINGTON — The lawyers of two Texas death row inmates asked Attorney General Eric Holder Wednesday to open an investigation on the state’s alleged illegal purchases of lethal injection drugs. In a letter made public by the lawyers, they said they had uncovered official documents through a Freedom of Information…

Federal judge refuses stay of Georgia execution

ATLANTA (Reuters) A federal judge refused late on Tuesday to issue a stay of execution for a man who claimed Georgia’s supply of lethal injection drug sodium thiopental has “almost certainly” expired, meaning he would be subjected to an unnecessarily painful death. In his ruling, Judge Timothy C. Batten held…

US states search for new lethal injection drugs

Stunned by a company’s decision to stop production of a drug used for lethal injections, American death-penalty states are struggling to find alternatives, and have seen a slowdown in the number of executions. “Many states are having to change their method of execution — that means regulatory changes that have…

German firms vow to stop selling execution drug to US

Germany’s leading medical association, along with pharmaceutical manufacturers in the country, pledged Monday that they would not sell a drug necessary for lethal injections to the US. In a letter to the companies, German Health Minister Philipp Roesler had asked that wholesalers not supply the US sodium thiopental or any…

Oklahoma to use animal drugs to execute humans

WASHINGTON — Faced with a national shortage of a key drug used for lethal injections, Oklahoma now hopes to turn to an anesthetic used to put down animals and is awaiting a court ruling on the issue. For months now, several US states have struggled to find supplies of sodium…

UK group says it’s suing over US execution drug

British group says it’s suing to stop export of execution drug sodium thiopental to US A group opposed to the death penalty filed suit Tuesday to try to prevent a British company from exporting a drug that could be used in the execution of an American inmate. Reprieve, a London-based…

States delay executions as lethal drug cocktail in short supply

Lacking enough of the anesthetic essential to the cocktail of lethal drugs administered during executions, several US states are being forced to postpone the procedure until early next year. At the heart of the drug supply problem is Hospira, the only pharmaceutical company that produces the anesthetic sodium thiopental. “We…

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