Missouri announced it will begin using the drug propofol (which was made famous by Michael Jackson) as their drug of choice for lethal injections. Missouri does not have any executions scheduled but Attorney General Chris Koster has requested that executions be scheduled for the 19 death row inmates that have exhausted their appeals. High doses of propofol cause respiratory arrest resulting in death. Attorneys for death row inmates told The Associated Press that they are still gathering information on the new process. From TIME:
The same anesthetic that caused the overdose death of pop star Michael Jackson is now the drug of choice for executions in Missouri, causing a stir among critics who question how the state can guarantee a drug untested for lethal injection won’t cause pain and suffering for the condemned.
Last week the Missouri Department of Corrections announced it was switching from its longstanding three-drug method to use of a single drug, propofol. Missouri would be the first state ever to use propofol as an execution drug.
“This is very, very concerning with a drug that we don’t know, and seeing the problems of the one-drug method,” said Kathleen Holmes of Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.
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