When Missouri's execution drug supplier backed out after facing a lawsuit, the state found another pharmacy willing to sell it pentobarbital. But if that proved impossible, Missouri also had another option: It could use its controversial backup drug, midazolam.
Wednesday's execution of Michael Taylor marked the state's fourth in as many months - a dramatic uptick from recent years.
The state put Taylor to death for abducting, raping and killing a 15-year-old girl in 1989. Gov. Jay Nixon called the crime "wanton" and "heinous" in a statement denying clemency and said the death penalty was the appropriate punishment.
Taylor was the first Missouri inmate to be executed with a drug made by the state's new (and secret) compounding pharmacy. The previous one bowed out after facing a lawsuit once its identity got out.
Federal judges have ruled that Wednesday's execution may proceed.
District Judge Beth Phillips denied Missouri inmate Michael Taylor's requests for stays of execution early Monday morning. Her ruling was appealed to a panel of 8th Circuit judges, who affirmed her decision.
Taylor asked for his execution to be delayed for three reasons.
1. Missouri changed its drug supplier at the last minute.
Although the state's previous drug supplier says it will not supply for the next execution, Missouri says it's found another willing pharmacy.
On Monday, the Apothecary Shoppe in Oklahoma reached a settlement with an inmate who had sued the pharmacy. Although the terms were confidential, the pharmacy agreed to not sell to Missouri for its upcoming execution.
In a court filing Wednesday evening, the state said inmate Michael Taylor was trying to cut off the supply of the state's execution drug.
After a lawsuit filed by a death-row inmate, the Apothecary Shoppe in Oklahoma has agreed to not sell to Missouri for its upcoming execution.
Last week, a federal judge ordered the pharmacy to hold off on selling the drug to Missouri until further review. Before that could take place, however, the pharmacy and the inmate came to an agreement.
An Oklahoma compounding pharmacy has supplied Missouri with the drug it's used three times to execute inmates, despite the fact that the pharmacy isn't licensed here.
Now the Apothecary Shoppe is attempting to become licensed in Missouri.
According to records obtained by St. Louis Public Radio, the Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy received a letter from the Apothecary Shoppe on Jan. 13, when the pharmacy said it was planning on registering in both Missouri and Texas.