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August 28, 2010

"Anesthesia shortage may delay executions"

The title of this post is the headline of this new USA Today piece.  Here are excerpts:

A nationwide shortage of several anesthesia drugs has left several states scrambling to find enough doses to carry out lethal injections — potentially delaying executions well into next year.

Kentucky announced this week that it would not be able to carry out two executions, despite pending death warrants, because the state has only enough sodium thiopental, also known as Pentothal, to perform a single lethal injection. "We have reached out to some other states, but that has not been fruitful," said J. Michael Brown, secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. "We've had other states call us trying to find it."

Oklahoma has also been forced to delay an execution after a federal judge said a hearing needs to be held before the state could substitute a drug for the state's remaining dose of sodium thiopental. That dose "wasn't at the quality we wanted," said Jerry Massie, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections.

Ohio prison officials have been closely watching the nationwide shortage after they feared they may not be able to carry out a lethal injection last spring because of limited supplies, according to Ohio corrections spokeswoman Julie Walburn.

Hospira, based outside Chicago, the sole U.S. manufacturer of sodium thiopental, says manufacturing problems have hindered production of the drug, though spokesman Dan Rosenberg declined to elaborate. "We are working to get it back on the market as soon as possible," Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg said Hospira won't have more of the drug available until sometime in the first quarter of 2011....

Of the 35 states that allow the death penalty, nearly all use sodium thiopental as part of the lethal cocktail administered, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. New Mexico voted to abolish the death penalty in 2009, but the repeal was not retroactive, leaving two people on the state's death row, according to the Center's Web page. Both Ohio and Washington use a one-drug protocol using the sodium thiopental.

August 28, 2010 at 11:16 AM | Permalink

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execution related article in NYTIMES

Japanese Officials Reveal Execution Chambers

TOKYO — The Japanese government opened up its execution chambers to the public for the first time on Friday, taking journalists on a tour of Tokyo’s main gallows. The insides were stark: a trapdoor, a Buddha statue and a ring for the noose.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/28/world/asia/28tokyo.html

Posted by: . | Aug 28, 2010 5:03:04 PM

Japanese government opened up its execution chambers to the public for the first time on Friday, taking journalists on a tour of Tokyo’s main gallows. The insides were stark: a trapdoor, a Buddha statue and a ring for

Posted by: power balance | Sep 10, 2010 11:27:07 PM

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