The Missouri Supreme Court's decision to move ahead with two executions this year is being questioned by some death penalty observers and opponents.
The state High Court on Wednesday set execution dates for condemned killers Allen Nicklasson and Joseph Franklin. Missouri plans to become the first-ever state to use the anesthetic propofol for lethal injection. Propofol was used in the death of pop star Michael Jackson.
States are scrambling because makers of drugs previously used in executions now prohibit their use. Executions have been on hold in Missouri since the court declined last August to set dates for six inmates.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster applauded the court's decision. But Death Penalty Information Center executive director Richard Dieter says using propofol will essentially be "an experiment with a human subject."