Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Arizona Switching to Single Drug Execution Protocol

Arizona announced last week that it will change its execution protocol. Beginning in May 2011 the state will move from its current three drug execution protocol to a single drug protocol. However, the state will carry out today’s execution of Eric John King and the execution of another inmate on April 5 using the three drug protocol. Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan said the change was to allay any "perceived concerns" that the anesthetic drug sodium thiopental is ineffective. The drug is usually the first of three drugs used in executions. The drug has been in short supply due to its domestic manufacturer discontinuing the drug. Critics have said the three-drug protocol might result in an inmate being painfully suffocated if, imported sodium thiopental,does not work before the other two drugs are administered. Oklahoma has switched from sodium thiopnetal to pentobarbital. Texas recently announced a switch from sodium thiopental to pentobarbital as part of the state's three-drug protocol. Ohio has switched to only a single dose of pentobarbital for its executions, and Ryan said that Arizona may also switch to pentobarbital. Washington state uses a single drug protocol but continues to use a single lethal dose of sodium thiopental. To read more: http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_phoenix_metro/central_phoenix/arizona-court-declines-to-stay-inmate's-tuesday-execution

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