Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oklahoma Execution May be Last One in 2010

On Thursday, Oklahoma death row inmate John David Duty is scheduled to be executed. Duty's execution will be the 46th execution nationwide this year. It appears that Duty's execution will also be the last execution of 2010.

Duty's scheduled execution has generated international attention. A drug used to euthanize animals has been approved for use in executions in Oklahoma, a decision that could affect other states scrambling to address a nationwide shortage of a key anesthetic used in executions, reported the Wall Street Journal.

The shortage of sodium thiopental, an anesthetic used for lethal injection by all 35 states with the death penalty, had prompted Oklahoma to seek court clearance to use pentobarbital as a substitute. A federal judge recently approved the use of the drug.

Duty was sentenced to death for the December 19, 2001 murder of Curtis Wise.

Wise was a cell mate of Duty. At the time of the murder, Duty was serving three life sentences for his 1978 convictions of rape, robbery and shooting with intent to kill out of Tillman and Jackson counties.

The execution will take place at the state penitentiary in McAlester.

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