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May 11, 2011

Mississippi joins growing number of states with success using new execution drug

As reported in this Reuters piece, "Mississippi corrections officials on Tuesday executed a man convicted in the 1998 slayings of four people, the first inmate in the state to be put to death using a new drug as part of the lethal injection." here are more of the details:

Benny Joe Stevens was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m. local time at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, said state Department of Corrections spokeswoman Tara Booth....

He was executed with the drug pentobarbital, a sedative often used to euthanize animals, because of a nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental. Several states have switched to pentobarbital due to the shortage, and Texas and South Carolina used the drug to carry out executions last week.

Stevens was sentenced to death in 1999 for the murders of his ex-wife, her husband and two children in Foxworth, Mississippi. He also received a 20-year prison sentence for the aggravated assault of his daughter, who was shot in the back and then watched Stevens shoot her mother....

There are 59 inmates on death row in Mississippi, according to state prison records. Stevens was the 15th person executed in the United States so far this year, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. In 2010, 46 people were executed in the United States, six fewer than the previous year.

May 11, 2011 at 08:25 AM | Permalink

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Glad to see the slip n fall lawyers are not succeeding in getting the executions delayed due to the switch in anthesitic sodium thiopental to pentobarbital. Their arguments are specious at best. Any class of anthesitics will do. FACT from Lancet article: For executions, the sodium thiopental is administered in dosages roughly 10-20 times the amount necessary for sedation unconsciousness during surgical procedures. Recall before the switch the lawyers and activists were saying that we don't even use thiopental to put dogs and cats down...so now the states actually switch to that drug and now they say we are killing humans with the same drug we use to kill animals. It's just insane. It's one thing to advocate for a client but another to twist lie and leave out facts. Mississippi now joins 8 other states that have executed killers this year. OH and TX have had 3 executions each and AL and OK 2 each. 13 more executions are scheduled thru June. Even more would be scheduled had the Obama Admin under Holder not seized the drugs from GA and TN who had 5 inmates between the already scheduled for execution and are now on hold due to Holders' actions. By the way did you know that Benny Joe Stevens admitted everything and actually apologized for killing a 10 and 11 year old point blank before being executed. No apology from his lawyers.

Posted by: DeanO | May 11, 2011 8:58:32 AM

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