Execution Drug Shortage may Keep Inmates off Death Row

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

An Associated Press review of the 35 states with capital punishment finds that most are about to run out of a key lethal injection drug or already have.

The drug called sodium thiopental (THY-oh-PEN'-tahl) has become so scarce over the past year that a few states have had to postpone executions. Those delays could soon become widespread now that the only U.S. company that makes the drug has decided to stop producing it.

Switching to another drug could be tough for some states that have complicated regulations. Others are beginning to see legal challenges about whether a switch or the use of expired drugs could violate inmates' constitutional rights.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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