On Friday, Governor Jay Nixon postponed the execution of an inmate that was set for later this month. That execution was going to be carried out using propofol, a common anesthetic that has never been used in a lethal injection before. So why the change in plans?
A group representing Missouri anesthesiologists is urging the state to drop plans to use propofol in an upcoming execution, saying the fallout could jeopardize the availability of the anesthetic for thousands of U.S. hospitals and clinics that rely on it.
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.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says he does not support the gas chamber method to execute prisoners according to KMOX. The issue of lethal injection in death penalty cases has been tied up in courts. Last week, Attorney General Chris Koster suggested Missouri use gas chambers for prisoner executions. He says state statutes allow for either method of execution.
When Governor Nixon was asked about Koster's suggestion at a press conference Tuesday, he said Missouri does not have a gas chamber and issues related to the death penalty need to be worked out in the courts.
Attorney General Chris Koster says Missouri may have to resort to using the gas chamber to carry out death sentences. It would be considered as an “unintended consequence” of the state Supreme Court’s refusal to set execution dates.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster wants the state Supreme Court to set execution dates for two inmates before the state's supply of an execution drug expires.
Koster has renewed a request for execution dates to be set for Allen Nicklasson and Joseph Franklin. The state's highest court refused to do so last August, citing a legal challenge to the state's newly planned use of the drug propofol as its execution method.
The attorney general's office said Monday that the Department of Corrections has a limited supply of propofol and much of it will expire next spring.
Missouri’s plans to use the anesthetic propofol in executions may face new delays.
In May, Missouri announced it was switching to propofol after sodium thiopental, another drug commonly used in executions, became harder to acquire. But, Fresenius Kabi USA, one of propofol’s two domestic suppliers, announced last week it was instructing its distributors not to fill orders from departments of corrections in the United States.
The Missouri Supreme Court has declined to set execution dates for six condemned killers, saying doing so is "premature" until the courts decide if Missouri's new execution method passes constitutional muster.
A House committee heard testimony Wednesday on legislation that would abolish the death penalty in Missouri. As St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin tells us, the bill would also commute sentences of all current Death Row inmates to “life without parole."