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.
Updated at 5:50 a.m. Friday with additional reporting. Reporting from KRCU's Jacob McCleland was used in this story.
The anesthetic that caused the overdose death of pop star Michael Jackson is now the drug for executions in Missouri.
The Missouri Department of Corrections is switching from its longstanding three-drug method to a single drug, propofol, which has never been used in an execution in the U.S. That's causing a stir among critics lijke Death Penalty Information Center director Richard Dieter.
On March 1, Missouri’s supply of a key execution drug expired. The sole U.S. manufacturer has stopped making the drug, sending the state on a quest to find more. The federal government does not have any reserves and is currently undertaking a review of what they call a critical shortage.
As St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach reports, Missouri has another option. It could follow the lead of Ohio and Oklahoma and switch drugs.