"Mo. AG renews request to execute 2 men, cites limited and expiring supply of execution drug," is the Associated Press report by David A. Lieb. It's via the Tribune of Seymor, Indiana. Here's an extended excerpt:
Attorney General Chris Koster asked Missouri's highest court to set execution dates Monday for two long-serving inmates, arguing that time is running short to use a limited, nearly expired supply of a lethal injection drug.
Executions essentially have been on hold in Missouri since the state Supreme Court last August declined to set execution dates for six condemned prisoners. The court said then that execution dates would be "premature" until a federal legal challenge was resolved regarding the use of the drug propofol as Missouri's newly designated execution method.
Propofol gained public attention as the anesthetic drug that killed pop star Michael Jackson in 2009. It has never been used as an execution drug. Defense attorneys for Missouri inmates have asserted that it could cause extreme pain in violation the U.S. Constitution's protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
Drug maker Fresenius Kabi USA, a German company with U.S. offices based in Schaumburg, Illinois, said last year that it won't sell propofol to states looking to use it in executions.
Meanwhile, Missouri's existing supply of the drug is aging.
The attorney general's office said in court documents filed Monday that the Missouri Department of Corrections has just three quantities of propofol remaining — with one expiring this October, another in May 2014 and the third in 2015. As each batch expires, the department's ability to carry out executions diminishes, the attorney general's office said.
"This Court should not allow the mere pendency of ongoing federal litigation to effectively eliminate capital punishment in Missouri simply because the lawsuits outlast the Department's supply of propofol," the attorney general's office wrote in a court document signed by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Hawke.
Koster's office specifically asked the state Supreme Court to set execution dates for two Allen Nicklasson and Joseph Franklin.
MissouriNet posts, "Koster wants executions ," by Bob Priddy. There is audio at the link.
The timing of Koster’s request is intentional. A new Chief Justice is in charge of the court, as of yesterday. And a new member of the court has not addressed the issue.
Koster also worries that more delays will let more drug manufacturers withdraw their drugs for use. And he says a legislature that will not repeal the death penalty might consider reinstituting the gas chamber if lethal injection executions are essentially unofficially negated by the court. He says that’s a not necessarily an issue that should be back on the table.
Koster says the Department of Corrections has assured him it could do an execution if a date is set.
"Missouri AG Wants Execution Dates Set Before Execution Drugs Expire," is by Perry Stein for Talking Points Memo.
Missouri's Attorney General called on the state's Supreme Court to set execution dates for two murderers before the state's supply of its new execution drug, propofol, expires, according to a Monday press release.
The Supreme Court ruled last August that Attorney General Chris Koster's previous request to set execution dates were premature because not all questions regarding the use of propofol in executions had been settled.
But Koster said that waiting until federal litigation is finished could prevent the state from going through with these exectutions at all, since much of its supply of the drug will expire next spring.
The Missouri Attorney General's Office has issued a news release, "Attorney General Koster renews request for Missouri Supreme Court to set execution dates for two men on death row."
"For nearly a decade, the mere pendency of federal litigation has been used as an artificial hurdle, unauthorized by law or federal court order, to prevent the State from carrying out the death penalty," Koster said. "The Court's current position has allowed successive, limited supplies of propofol to reach their expiration dates. Unless the Court changes its current course, the legislature will soon be compelled to fund statutorily-authorized alternative methods of execution to carry out lawful judgments."