"Drug shortage may imperil executions in Arizona," is the title of Michael Kiefer's article for The Arizona Republic. Also read our previous blog post about our efforts to convince the Norwegian Oil Fund to divest from companies that produce the lethal drugs used in executions. Later, Norway's leading television station, NRK, picked up the issue and ran it as the lead story on the evening news.
A worldwide shortage of a drug used in lethal-injection procedures could jeopardize future executions in Arizona. The shortage became evident last week during a federal court hearing in Ohio. There, an Arizona-based federal public defender told the court that Ohio had admitted it did not have enough of the drug, thiopental sodium, to carry out an execution later that week.
According to court transcripts, attorney Dale Baich asked if the state would call off the execution if it did not find an ample supply. By the end of the day, the state had found an alternative source for the drug, and the execution was carried out as planned on Thursday. Baich declined comment.