Oklahoma gets 20 doses of scarce execution drug

Shortly after a death row inmate filed a lawsuit to stop his August execution because only one dose remained in Oklahoma of the first of three execution drugs, the state announced additional drugs had been acquired.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND mrolland@opubco.com Published: July 11, 2012

Down to its last dose of pentobarbital for executions, the state has found 20 additional portions of the powerful barbiturate and will be able to continue administering lethal injections without disruption.

“It is essential the state be able to provide justice for victims' families and fulfill our constitutional duty to carry out sentences recommended by jurors,” Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Wednesday.

Convicted murderer Michael Hooper, 39, is to be executed on Aug. 14.

James Drummond, Hooper's attorney, filed a lawsuit to halt the execution because there was no backup drug to render Hooper unconscious if the first dose of pentobarbital failed.

After the announcement by Pruitt that more pentobarbital was found, Drummond said he needs more information to determine what this means for Hooper's case.

“It's not that I doubt their word, but for my client's sake I need to ascertain they (the dosages) are current and not expired,” and that process will take some time, he told The Associated Press.

The state paid $40,000 for the 20 doses, the Department of Corrections said.

Pruitt would not say where the state got the drugs, citing state law that protects the “identity of all persons who participate in or administer the execution.”

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