Arizona says it has run out of drugs for executions

Arizona says it has run out of drugs for executions
Image: nito/Shutterstock

[Ed. – Time to fire up ‘ol’ sparky’.]

Arizona has run out of execution drugs, including a sedative implicated in botched lethal injections, according to a filing on Friday in a court case challenging the U.S. state’s execution methods.

The Arizona Department of Corrections’ supply of midazolam, a sedative, expired on May 31 and it has not been able to replace it, state lawyers said in the filing in Phoenix’s U.S. District Court.

“What is more, the Department’s source of midazolam has vanished under pressure from death penalty opponents,” the court document said.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of seven death-row inmates who allege that Arizona’s use of midazolam and two other drugs violate the U.S. Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Since midazolam was at the heart of the lawsuit, the filing asked the judge hearing the case, Neil Wake, to decide whether the suit was moot.

The document said the Department of Corrections also lacked the execution drugs pentobarbital and sodium thiopental.

Arizona has not carried out an execution since the July 2014 execution of Joseph Wood. He was administered 14 times the allowed doses of midazolam and a narcotic, hydromorphone, and took almost two hours to die.

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