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Oklahoma executes man with new drug combination

Oklahoma officials executed convicted murderer John David Duty on Thursday using a drug combination that includes a sedative commonly used to euthanize animals.
By SEAN MURPHY Modified: December 17, 2010 at 8:31 am •  Published: December 17, 2010

Duty and two other death row inmates had challenged the state's decision to use pentobarbital, arguing it could be inhumane because a person could be paralyzed but still aware when a painful third drug is administered to stop the heart. On Tuesday, a federal appeals court upheld a ruling against the other two inmates. Duty did not take part in the appeal.

Several states have been scrambling since Hospira Inc. — the only U.S. manufacturer of the barbiturate normally used in executions — said Thursday new batches of sodium thiopental could be available “in the first quarter” of next year.

Oklahoma's law calls for the use of a fast-acting barbiturate to be administered first, which gave the state the flexibility to use pentobarbital, Massie said.

For his final meal, Duty requested a loaded double cheeseburger with mayonnaise; a foot-long Coney with cheese, mustard and extra onions; a cherry limeade and a large banana shake, Massie said.

Contributing: Rochelle Hines, The Associated Press has disabled the comments for this article.