Arkansas plans use of execution drug never tried before in US executions
04/16/2013 // West Palm Beach , Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)
Arkansas – Arkansas is reportedly planning to begin using an execution drug that has never been tried before in executions in the U.S. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), although no executions are currently scheduled in the state, a spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Correction has spoken of the state’s plans to use phenobarbital and lorazepam in the execution of future condemned prisoners.
Some see the move as controversial, calling the use of the barbiturate phenobarbital, which is also used for seizures, inhumane because of the length of time it requires to take effect.
Federal public defender Jenniffer Horan is quoted by the AP as writing in a letter to Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, “No state has ever used Phenobarbital in a lethal injection procedure, and for good reason… Throughout the history of lethal injection, states have preferred ultra-short-acting barbiturates that cause rapid unconsciousness and death. Phenobarbital, however, has a long onset of action.”
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