10 of 16 Active Death Penalty States Switch Sedative Drug


Ten of the 16 states with active death chambers are switching to an alternative sedative for execution — even as the drug's manufacturer argues against its use in capital punishment and some European nations push export bans for such drugs, reports the Associated Press. Alabama, Louisiana, and Florida are the latest states that have switched to pentobarbital or are considering a switch as part of their three-drug methods.

South Carolina is considering using the drug as it prepares for an execution next month. The problem is a shortage of sodium thiopental, a sedative that states used for more than three decades until its only U.S. manufacturer stopped making it in 2009 and dropped plans to resume production this year. The shortage forced several states to scramble for new supplies.

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