Possible Drug Switch for Lethal Injection


LITTLE ROCK,Ark.–Ever since the state Supreme Court validated Arkansas’ 2015 Death Penalty Law, much of the focus has surrounded a three-drug cocktail used for lethal injections.

The state bought the drugs last summer, but at least one of them has since expired.

States are having an increasingly difficult time restocking drugs, with pharmaceutical companies reluctant to sell for use in executions.

Arkansas does have another option of using a single dose of a barbiturate to carry out the lethal injection.

“In the single drug cocktail that you’re talking about the barbiturate is used in a massive dose to cause severe respiratory depression and ultimately death,” Dr. Scott Pace, Arkansas Pharmacy Association CEO said.

Texas has executed six inmates so far this year with a single dose of the barbiturate, Pentobarbital.

The Arkansas Department of Correction would not comment Friday on whether it’s considering the method as well.

Switching drugs at this point could also result in new litigation.

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