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Texas Is about to Run Out of Execution Drugs

The remaining supply of The Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s execution drug pentobarbital will expire in September, and state officials aren’t sure what they will do when it does. The drug, which is used in the lethal injection process, is no longer easy to obtain as many of its primary manufacturers don’t want to be associated with executions. In many cases, anti-death penalty organizations have successfully pressured drug-makers to make pentobarbital unavailable for use in executions. Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a group that opposes capital punishment, told the Associated Press, “It’s uncertain where all of this goes because it’s inherently a medical kind of procedure involving some health professionals who are largely focused on keeping people alive. It runs into contradictions with executions – people strapped to a table. Executions aren’t exactly what the medical model is.”

Texas—which far and away executes more prisoners than any state in the country—has already executed 11 inmates this year and have seven more executions scheduled in the next few months. In Missouri, the state’s attorney general suggested that if his state couldn’t find an alternative drug, they should consider using the gas chamber. A spokesman for the Texas correctional system said, “We are exploring all options at this time” …

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