A Ghoulish Search

Several states have been searching, secretively says the BBC, for lethal injection drugs. The 3 drugs combination used in the past has not been available for some time since the manufacturer of a key ingredient, sodium triopental, stopped supplying it. Some states then tried to used Propofol but the German supplier stopped filling orders, warning of EU sanctions since the death penalty is outlawed in the EU and at one point even asked for the Propofol it had shipped back. Now states are turning to compounding pharmacies, pharmacies which make drugs in small quantities usually for specific clients, and critics are concerned because the drugs they manufacture do not come under FDA regulations. It is feared that the combinations now used can create pain and not be as effective as the former 3 drugs. Meanwhile, the present is a patchwork with each state doing what it thinks best to carry out its mandate of execution. In Missouri an execution was postponed due to the lack of drug availability, while in several states various and untested drug combinations are being used. It’s a ghoulish and perverse search pointing to the need to totally rethink our use of the death penalty.