Nixon halts execution, citing propofol concerns

Oct 11, 2013

Gov. Jay Nixon
Gov. Jay Nixon
Credit Kristofor Husted / KBIA file photo

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is halting the execution of convicted killer Allen Nicklasson, citing concerns about the use of propofol as an execution drug.

The decision was announced Friday. Nixon also ordered the Missouri Department of Corrections to come up with a different way to perform lethal injections that does not include propofol.

Nicklasson's execution, scheduled for Oct. 23, had been set to be the country's first-ever using propofol.

Propofol is the leading anesthetic used in America's hospitals and clinics. The European Union has threatened to limit the export of propofol if it was used in a U.S. execution. Nearly 90 percent of the nation's propofol comes from Europe.

The leading propofol maker, Fresenius Kabi, and anesthesiologists had warned of a possible propofol shortage that could impact millions of Americans.