The Associated Press posts, "Arkansas has enough drugs to carry out executions," by Jeannie Nuss. It's via the Republic. Here's an extended excerpt:
Arkansas plans to use a different drug to kill condemned prisoners, and for the first time in nearly two years, it now has enough drugs to do so.
Department of Correction spokeswoman Shea Wilson told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the agency spent about $20,000 to buy lorazepam and phenobarbital, even though phenobarbital apparently hasn't been used in a U.S. execution before and lawyers for some death row inmates say it may be unsuitable for that purpose.
Until recently, Arkansas and the more than 30 other death penalty states used a virtually identical three-drug process: A sedative called sodium thiopental was administered to put the inmate to sleep, and then two other drugs stopped the heart and lungs. But makers of sodium thiopental stopped selling it for use in executions, and supplies mostly ran out or expired, forcing states to consider alternatives.
Arkansas and several other states initially turned their attention overseas, obtaining sodium thiopental from a British supplier. But that didn't last long. In 2011, Arkansas lost its supply of sodium thiopental to federal agents amid legal questions about how it got a hold of the drug.
Wilson said the new drugs arrived in Arkansas this month, marking the first time in nearly two years that the state has had enough drugs to carry out executions.
She said lorazepam, which is used to treat anxiety, would be used as a pre-execution sedative before an inmate is injected with a large dose of phenobarbital, a barbiturate used to treat seizures that has never been used in a U.S. execution, according to the Washington-based Death Penalty Information Center.
"The phenobarbital would be the one that would kill them," Wilson said.
Documents obtained by the AP show that, under Arkansas' new lethal injection procedure, the state has about eight doses of phenobarbital and more than 30 doses of lorazepam.
Earlier coverage of Arkansas lethal injection issues begins at the link.