pentobarbital

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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is standing firm with plans to execute Russell Bucklew this week, despite claims from the condemned man's attorneys that he could suffer during the process because of a rare medical condition.

Bucklew is scheduled to die by a lethal dose of pentobarbital at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing a southeast Missouri man during a violent crime spree in 1996.

In Missouri and across the nation, the process of executing criminals is becoming complicated. It’s one of our society’s most somber, and impactful, tasks. But how much do you know about the process? If you don’t know much about it, there may be a reason for that. Two of our colleagues at in public radio have investigated and found that the process is shrouded in secrecy. Meantime, four people have been executed in Missouri in as many months, after years of less frequent executions.

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A Missouri House panel is considering legislation to give lawmakers oversight over the state's execution procedures.

Republican Rep. Eric Burlison said Wednesday that his bill would make Missouri's lethal injection method more transparent and accountable to the public.

The measure would require the state Corrections Department to submit a formal outline of an execution procedure to a legislative panel. The panel could then conduct hearings and take public comment on the proposed execution method. The full Legislature would also be able to veto the proposed method.

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A Missouri state senator wants to give the Corrections Department flexibility on how it carries out executions.

Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer introduced legislation Wednesday that would allow the department to execute inmates by any lawful means. Current law permits executions only by lethal gas or chemicals.

Schaefer, of Columbia, says legal questions over Missouri's current use of pentobarbital shouldn't be used to block capital punishment in the state. He says his bill would give the department the necessary flexibility to carry out death sentences.

Update: Governor says the state is prepared to proceed regardless.

Update: Pharmacy hopes documents will be secret

A federal judge has ordered an Oklahoma-based pharmacy not to sell the Missouri Department of Corrections its execution drug, at least until a hearing scheduled for next week.

An Oklahoma compounding pharmacy has supplied Missouri with the drug it's used three times to execute inmates, despite the fact that the pharmacy isn't licensed here.

Now the Apothecary Shoppe is attempting to become licensed in Missouri.

According to records obtained by St. Louis Public Radio, the Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy received a letter from the Apothecary Shoppe on Jan. 13, when the pharmacy said it was planning on registering in both Missouri and Texas.

execution gurney
California Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons

As Missouri prepares for its third execution in two months, a chorus of concerns is raised about the secretive process of obtaining the lethal drug.

Mo. Supreme Court denies Franklin's appeal

Nov 19, 2013
Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

5:00pm, 11/19/13 : UPDATE: A federal judge granted Franklin a stay of execution. We'll have the latest here.

The Missouri Supreme Court has denied appeals on behalf of white supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin, hours before his scheduled execution.

Null Value / Flickr

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has refused to halt the execution of white supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin, calling his crime in Missouri a "cowardly and calculated shooting."

Propfol
Nottingham Vet School / Flickr

This week on CoMo Explained we explain what all the fuss about Propofol is and how it's got Missouri in the national eye again.

A month ago, St. Louis Public Radio reported on the questionable manner in which the state of Missouri got ahold of its potential execution drug. Now Missouri has a new plan to go ahead with two upcoming executions, but the process is anything but open.

Updated 11/14/13 3:24 p.m.

Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

The attorney for convicted killer Joseph Paul Franklin has asked the Missouri Supreme Court to halt Franklin's execution, citing concerns about the state's plan to use a drug obtained from a compounding pharmacy.

Attorney Jennifer Herndon, in a document filed Tuesday, wrote that the use of pentobarbital from a compounding pharmacy puts Franklin at risk for a painful execution.

Franklin is scheduled to die by injection at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 20 at the prison in Bonne Terre, Mo., for the sniper killing of 42-year-old Gerald Gordon outside a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977.

Two weeks ago, Gov. Jay Nixon instructed the Missouri Department of Corrections to come up with a new procedure for carrying out lethal injections.

On Tuesday, the department announced that it had chosen a new execution drug: pentobarbital. But the state also made a change that will end up making it harder, if not impossible, to know where the drugs come from.

On Tuesday, the Missouri Department of Corrections announced that it had selected a new drug for upcoming executions: pentobarbital.

The change comes following criticism of the questionable methods Missouri had obtained the drug it had previously planned to use, as well as concern that its use could harm hospitals throughout the U.S. The state had planned to use a common anesthetic named propofol, which has never been used to carry out an execution.