Wednesday, May 4, 2011

South Carolina Will Use New Drug for Friday’s Execution

South Carolina will join three other states—Oklahoma, Ohio and Texas—in using pentobarbital instead of sodium thiopental to carry out an execution. Jeffrey Motts is scheduled to die by lethal injection this Friday.

The change is necessary as result of the DEA’s seizure of the state's supply of sodium thiopental. According to the Associated Press, the agency confiscated the drug over concerns that officials broke the law by buying doses from England, which banned the drug's export for executions.

Motts is what is referred to as a volunteer. He dropped his appeals and asked to die. He was sent to death row for killing his cellmate while serving a life sentence for killing his great aunt and another man in South Carolina.

Motts choked cellmate Charles Martin to death as he begged for his life, then stuffed him under his bed, according to the Associated Press. They say Martin then ate breakfast and smoked a few cigarettes before dragging Martin's body into a common area in front of other inmates, kicking him as he said "this is what snitches get."

Pentobarbital is frequently used to put animals to death. It is also used for assisted suicide in Oregon. Oklahoma was the first state to use pentobarbital for lethal injection last December. Ohio used a single lethal dose of pentobarbital this year on three condemned inmates and this week Texas used pentobarbital for the first time.

Motts will be the first execution in South Carolina in nearly two years.

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