How California Searched Far And Wide For Execution Drug


Desperately seeking a drug that would allow them to execute an inmate last fall, California prison officials scoured the nation for a dose of it, calling dozens of hospitals, local surgery centers, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other states for help, reports the Sacramento Bee.

Documents in a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union show how California sought to cajole the governor of Texas to lend a supply of sodium thiopental. California considered buying a batch from a supplier in Pakistan. Ultimately, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation turned to Arizona as part of what it described as a “secret and important mission” to pick up the drug from a prison south of Phoenix, then drive it to death row at San Quentin Prison. The planned execution of Albert Brown never took place. California eventually bought a British supply of the drug for $36,415.

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