"Department of Correction to rewrite execution protocol," is the Arkansas News Bureau report.
The state Department of Correction will rewrite its execution protocol because the drugs it intended to use for lethal-injection procedures have become unavailable, a spokeswoman said Monday.
New Jersey-based West-Ward Pharmaceuticals closed its account with the agency last month because its London-based parent company, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, did not want its products used in executions. The state had purchased phenobarbital, a barbiturate, and lorazepam, a sedative, from West-Ward Pharmaceuticals with plans to use the drugs in executions.
“That pharmaceutical company closed our account; we’re not going to be able to acquire those any longer. So that’s the reason for the rewriting of the protocol,” said Department of Correction spokeswoman Shea Wilson.
Wilson said the new protocol likely would change the specific drugs to be used but would still comply with Act 139 of this year. The law directs the Department of Correction to carry out executions using a benzodiazepene, or a drug that slows the central nervous system and calms the prisoner, and “a barbiturate in an amount sufficient to cause death.”
"Arkansas to Look at Other Execution Drugs," is AP coverage, via Arkansas Business.
Officials say Arkansas plans to consider using different drugs in lethal injections after the state lost its account with a pharmaceutical company that supplied it with drugs earlier this year.
State Department of Correction spokeswoman Shea Wilson told The Associated Press Monday that the agency no longer has a supplier for the drugs listed in its current lethal injection protocol. So, Wilson says the department plans to look at other drugs and to rewrite its protocol.
The AP first reported in April that Arkansas planned to use an anti-seizure drug called phenobarbital in executions, even though that chemical has never been used in a lethal injection in the United States.
Associated Press also reports, "Ark. death row inmates amend execution lawsuit," via KTHV-TV.
Nine death row inmates challenging Arkansas' new lethal injection law have amended their lawsuit against the state.
The inmates filed a modified complaint on Friday that asks a judge to declare that the Arkansas Department of Correction can't use a 2013 execution law to put them to death, but instead must follow a 1983 law.
The amended complaint says the nine prisoners involved in the lawsuit were convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death when the 1983 law was in effect.
The laws differ on the drugs to be used in lethal injections.
No execution dates are currently set in Arkansas. The state's last execution occurred in 2005.
Earlier coverage of Arkansas lethal injection issues begins at the link.