Texas, the state with the most executions under its belt since reinstating the death penalty in 1976, is solving a shortage on execution drugs by having a Houston compounding pharmacy make the drugs required for lethal injection, according to the Associated Press.
Texas and other death penalty states have been having an increasingly difficult time getting hold of the drugs required for executions in recent years, as pharmacy companies have given into pressure from those against capital punishment and stopped making the drugs.
The state switched to using pentobarbital, a drug used in assisted suicide, last year, but Robert Garza, 30, a former South Texas gang member convicted of killing four women in an ambush 11 years ago, pushed for the state to disclose the expiration date of the drugs to be used in his execution last month, according to the L.A. Times. He was concerned the drugs wouldn't work as well past the expiration date (which seems like a fair concern since they were about to be used on him.)
Garza was executed but since then it seems the state has run out of the drug and has now turned to a Houston company to combine the necessary ingredients purchased from pharmacy companies to make the drugs on their own. Three death row inmates have filed a lawsuit against the state, claiming officials are planning to execute them by experimenting with new drugs, Reuters reports. Obviously these guys aren't on board with that.
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At first state officials refused to say where the new drugs were coming from, but the Texas Department of Criminal Justice finally let go of the information after an AP Freedom of Information request, saying they'd purchased 8 vials of custom-made pentobarbitol from Houston. We do seem to make everything around here.