A month ago, St. Louis Public Radio reported on the questionable manner in which the state of Missouri got ahold of its potential execution drug. Now Missouri has a new plan to go ahead with two upcoming executions, but the process is anything but open.
On Friday, Governor Jay Nixon postponed the execution of an inmate that was set for later this month. That execution was going to be carried out using propofol, a common anesthetic that has never been used in a lethal injection before. So why the change in plans?
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has responded to the recent controversy surrounding the execution drug propofol by halting the execution of a Missouri inmate, and asking that a different form of lethal injection be used.
The Missouri Department of Corrections has announced that it will be returning some of its propofol to its supplier, as the company requested almost a year ago.
But questions remain on how the state obtained the drug.
Propofol is a widely-used medical anesthetic, but the Mo. Dept. of Corrections is planning to use it for lethal injection. Missouri's Oct. 23 and Nov. 20 executions would be the first time the drug has ever been used for capital punishment.
Updated at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 9, to correct errors in our interview.
In the next two months, the state of Missouri plans to use the drug propofol to perform two executions, despite opposition from the European Union, the Missouri Society of Anesthesiologists and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Attorney General Chris Koster says Missouri may have to resort to using the gas chamber to carry out death sentences as an "unintended consequence" of the state Supreme Court's refusal to set execution dates.
Executions have been on hold in Missouri since the state Supreme Court has declined to set execution dates. The court says execution dates would be "premature" until a federal legal challenge is resolved regarding the use of the drug propofol as Missouri's new execution method.