Lack of Drugs Delays SC’s First Execution in Six Years

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South Carolina will not have the drugs necessary to carry out its first execution in six years of a man convicted of murdering a police officer, reports The State. Bobby Wayne Stone, 52, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on December 1 for killing Sumter County Sheriff’s Sgt. Charlie Kubala in 1997. Prison officials will not be able to carry out South Carolina’s first execution since 2011 because they lack the drugs used to make the lethal injection cocktail.

Inmates on death row can choose electrocution but seldom do. The state has 39 inmates on death row. The deadly mix requires three drugs — pentobarbital, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride, all of which the state does not have, said Corrections Director Bryan Stirling. The state’s supply of pentobarbital expired in 2013, and the remaining drugs are hard to come by because drug companies do not want to be named publicly for providing drugs for executions, fearing backlash. In exchange for providing those drugs, companies want anonymity. In a recent, high-profile murder case, the prosecutor cited the state’s lack of execution drugs in accepting life sentences for a defendant. Barry Barnette, the prosecutor in serial killer Todd Kohlhepp’s case, said he could not guarantee Kohlhepp would be executed if sentenced to the death penalty because the state “doesn’t have a functioning death penalty.”

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