The Missouri Department of Corrections said Tuesday it is switching to a new lethal-injection drug, less than two weeks after the governor halted executions until it could find a replacement for the anesthetic propofol.
The Associated Press
The Corrections Department said in a news release that it will use the sedative pentobarbital. Thirteen states use the drug for executions, said Richard Dieter, director of the Death Penalty Information Center. He said every execution but one over the past two years in the United States used pentobarbital.
The execution of Joseph Franklin on Nov. 20 is still on, the news release stated. Franklin was convicted of killing Gerald Gordon in 1977 as a crowd dispersed from a bar mitzvah in suburban St. Louis. Two others were wounded. When he confessed 17 years later, Franklin was serving several life sentences in a federal prison for killing two black joggers in Salt Lake City and an interracial couple in Madison, Wis., and bombing a synagogue in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Missouri is also adding a compounding pharmacy to its execution team, which will be responsible for providing pentobarbital for executions, the news release said. Typically, compounding pharmacists process ingredients to fit the needs of individual patients.
On Oct. 11, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon halted the execution of Allen Nicklasson, scheduled for Wednesday, in part because the European Union was weighing export limits on propofol if it were used in an execution. Propofol is a widely used anesthetic and is mostly made in Europe. Nixon, a Democrat, ordered a halt to all executions until the issue was resolved.