Bill would give flexibility on Missouri executions

02/19/2014 12:21 PM

02/19/2014 12:22 PM

A Missouri state senator wants to give the Corrections Department flexibility on how it carries out executions.

Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer introduced legislation Wednesday that would allow the department to execute inmates by any lawful means. Current law permits executions only by lethal gas or chemicals.

Schaefer, of Columbia, says legal questions over Missouri’s current use of pentobarbital shouldn’t be used to block capital punishment in the state. He says his bill would give the department the necessary flexibility to carry out death sentences.

Missouri’s next scheduled execution is Feb. 26, but its current drug supplier has said it will no longer sell compounded pentobarbital for use in lethal injections. State officials won’t say whether the state has enough of the drug to proceed with next week’s execution.

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