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’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.
As the Missouri Supreme Court decides whether to set execution dates for six condemned killers, attorneys for death row inmates are citing concerns over the state's new one-drug lethal injection method as among the reasons why the executions should not proceed.