Texas executed Kent Sprouse, 42, for killing a Dallas-area police officer during a 2002 shootout after the killing of a customer outside a convenience store, the Associated Press reports. Sprouse, was the fifth killer put to death this year in Texas, the nation’s most active death penalty state. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review Sprouse’s case in November, and no last-day appeals were filed for him. He got the death sentence for the murder of Ferris, Tx., officer “Marty” Steinfeldt III, 28.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials said a recent purchase of pentobarbital means they have enough of the sedative to carry out three other executions set for this month. At least three more are set for May and June, meaning they would have to find a new supply or switch to a different drug to carry out those executions on schedule. Death penalty states have found it difficult to acquire execution drugs because traditional manufacturers refuse to sell their drugs for use in executions. States now rely on compounding pharmacies for made-to-order execution drugs.