The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, "Debate over Missouri's new execution drug doesn't end with death." It's written by Todd C. Frankel.
The pentobarbital worked.
It was a 5 percent solution, mixed by an anonymous compounding pharmacy, a dose 50 times stiffer than what is needed to put an insomniac to sleep, two syringes sweeping the lethal waters into the veins of serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin Wednesday morning at the state prison in Bonne Terre, Mo.
This was the first time that pentobarbital, a common anesthetic, had been deployed alone in a Missouri execution. Its debut was hasty, announced by the state only a month ago and tweaked again in recent days after other drugs were ruled out for varying reasons. And this new drug protocol was part of the focus of last-minute court appeals and one judge’s stay, delaying Franklin’s death by several hours. His lawyers questioned whether the drug, created by a special pharmacy, would cause undue pain and suffering.
“That issue did not die with Joseph Paul Franklin,” said attorney John Simon of St. Louis, a member of the condemned man’s legal team. “The door is still open for everyone other than him.”
That would be the 20 remaining death-row inmates suing the state in federal court over Missouri’s methods of lethal injection. They still plan to challenge this new compound, Simon said.
"Missouri may soon carry out more death sentences," is AP coverage by Chris Blank, via the Springfield News-Leader.
Once one of the most active death penalty states in the U.S., Missouri carried out its first execution in nearly three years Wednesday after turning to a compounding pharmacy to make the drug it needs for lethal injections.
The state’s success in court over its new execution method could lead to Missouri carrying out more death sentences.
Although the Democratic governor and attorney general both support the death penalty, there have been few death sentences carried out in recent years and legal wrangling over execution procedures.
“The courts at this point have given Missouri a green light to proceed with executions that are scheduled,” said Peter Joy, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis. “And barring either specific appeals related to some of the planned executions that may deal with issues unrelated to the execution protocol or courts revisiting the issue of the execution protocol that is now being used, basically there’s a green light and the door is open, and I anticipate more executions.”
The execution of Joseph Franklin, a white supremacist responsible for slayings throughout the country, was the first lethal injection carried out in Missouri since 2011 and just the third since 2009. Missouri has another execution scheduled for December, which would make this the first year since 2005 that the state has carried out multiple death sentences.
The attorney general’s office has asked the Missouri Supreme Court to set execution dates for 17 others, with some requests dating back to 2006.
"Capital Punishment in Missouri has Active History," is by Jonathan Cooper at KQTV-TV.
Missouri recently changed the number of drugs used for lethal injection from three to one.
"The concern is the first drug masks the kind of pain that the subsequent drugs put the person they are executing through," Missouri Western Professor David Tushaus said.
Franklin is the first inmate executed by Missouri in more than two years, but his execution is one of a long line of capital punishment in the state.
Missouri ranks fifth among the states that allow it, in the execution of convicts.
Earlier coverage from Missouri begins with news reports of the Franklin execution.