Missouri's been struggling to find ways to kill its death row inmates since its supplies of lethal injection drugs sodium thiopental and pentobarbital dried up. Now it's going to have to scramble to find one more: the pharmacy believed to have supplied the state with compounded pentobarbital has agreed not to do so.
Last month, Missouri executed Herbert Smulls using pentobarbital from a pharmacy it refused to name, citing execution anonymity rules, but which Smulls' lawyers believed was in Oklahoma. According to recently released emails, Louisiana obtains its supplies of pentobarbital from that same pharmacy, Tulsa's Apothecary Shoppe.
Tonight, the Apothecary Shoppe agreed not to supply Missouri with pentobarbital for the upcoming execution of Michael Taylor, scheduled for February 26 (nor would not reveal if it had done so for past executions). Taylor's lawyers filed a lawsuit against the Apothecary Shoppe last week to prevent them from selling the drug to Missouri. A federal judge issued a temporary injunction. The lawsuit will be dropped as a condition of the pharmacy agreeing not to provide the drug.
Taylor's lawyers contend that recent executions performed using compounded pentobarbital have caused undue pain and suffering. Compounding pharmacies are not subject to the same FDA regulations as drug manufacturers.
Taylor was given the death penalty for abducting, raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl in 1989.