A Texas inmate who was convicted of killing his parents in 1998 and blowing up their home in Lubbock was executed on Wednesday with a controversial lethal injection drug, reports Reuters. Michael Yowell, 43, executed at the state prison in Huntsville, was the first inmate in Texas to be executed using compounded pentobarbital, a barbiturate. Pentobarbital has become scarce over the past couple of years as major manufacturers have refused to supply it for executions.
Some states have turned to other suppliers such as lightly regulated compounding pharmacies to secure drugs, raising fears among death penalty opponents that use of the alternative drugs will lead to a botched execution. Yowell had asked a federal appeals court to stop his execution in part because Texas turned to a compounding pharmacy for pentobarbital after its supply expired in September. Compounding pharmacies, which combine or alter drugs typically to meet an individual prescription for a patient, have also come under strong criticism since a meningitis outbreak last year.