Saturday, April 23, 2011

States Begin Transistion to New Execution Drug

Pentobarbital Replacing Sodium Thiopental in Many Execution Chambers

Pentobarbital is becoming the drug of choice among states that carry out executions. According to a recent Associated Press, article ten of the 16 most active death penalty states have, or are considering, replacing the hard-to-find sodium thiopental with pentobarbital.

Two states have carried out executions using pentobarbital. Oklahoma used it for the first time last December as part of three-drug protocol to executed John David Duty. Ohio used the drug this year as part of a single drug protocol to executed Johnnie Baston. Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arizona have switched to pentobarbital.

There a number of states considering pentobarbital including Florida, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

The sedative previously used for executions, sodium thiopental, has been taken off the market in the Untied States. In addition, shipments of the the drug from overseas distributors have been seized by the DEA.

Arizona plans to use pentobarbital as a single-drug protocol similar to the manner in which Ohio carries out executions.

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