Update: "Death row inmate Winfield seeks stay of execution from Missouri Supreme Court," is the AP report, via the Tribune.
A Missouri inmate scheduled to be put to death next week is asking the Missouri Supreme Court to halt the execution.
John Winfield faces execution June 18 for killing two women in St. Louis County in 1996. In a court filing on Monday, attorneys for Winfield say it is unconstitutional for the state to execute him with "an unregulated compounded drug, from an undisclosed supplier, made of unknown ingredients, and through unknown processes."
"Reporter's notebook: Legal moves before execution scheduled June 18," is by Jeremy Kohler for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Missouri’s streak of six executions in six months ended in May when the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the state to hold off on putting Russell Bucklew to death. The rare intervention allowed time for lower courts to consider whether death by injection would be excruciating for Bucklew, who suffers from a rare medical condition.
But the state is planning to go ahead June 18 with a lethal injection for convicted murderer John E. Winfield, 46.
Time posts, "Death Lab: Missouri Eyes Its Own Lethal Injection Pharmacy," by Josh Sanburn.
In a speech to the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis late last month, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster called for a “state-operated, DEA-licensed laboratory to produce the execution chemicals in our state,” and urged the legislature to fund the country’s first pharmacy specifically for carrying out lethal injection.
By manufacturing its own drugs, the state could, in theory, get around several difficulties in administering executions. It wouldn’t have to rely on compounding pharmacies, which are often kept anonymous and are unregulated by the federal government. It would be able to have a consistent and adequate supply of drugs, helping the state avoid changes to its drug protocol and the use of drugs in untested combinations. And most importantly, the state might be able to avoid future lawsuits regarding the origins of lethal injection drugs, which have put a halt to many executions around the country—not to mention troublesome executions like that of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma and Dennis McGuire in Ohio. Meanwhile, the Associated Press, the Guardian and three other news organizations have sued Missouri in an attempt to get the state Department of Corrections to reveal its drug sources. But even considering all that, the cost and sheer logistics of building a pharmacy from the ground up to manufacture a handful of drugs may not be worth it.
“There’s no way I could justify the cost on something like that” if the state is only using it to produce just one or two drugs, says Ernie Gates, president of Gates Healthcare Associates, which consults and advises pharmacies. “The commitment would have to be significant.”