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Oklahoma pharmacy won’t give drug for Missouri execution

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Modified: February 18, 2014 at 11:26 am •  Published: February 18, 2014
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TULSA — An Oklahoma pharmacy will not provide a drug for a scheduled execution next week in Missouri as part of a settlement with the death row inmate’s attorneys. But it’s unclear whether the agreement will prevent or delay the lethal injection.

A court hearing is scheduled Tuesday in the federal lawsuit filed by inmate Michael Taylor against The Apothecary Shoppe, a compounding pharmacy in Tulsa that his attorneys said was providing a drug that could cause “inhumane pain” during his Feb. 26 execution.

In court documents filed late Monday, his lawyers asked a judge to dismiss the case because the company had agreed not to prepare or provide any drug for use in Taylor’s lethal injection. The pharmacy also acknowledged it had not already provided any drug to the Missouri Department of Corrections for the execution, said Taylor’s attorney, Matt Hellman.

However, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon indicated last week that the state could move forward with the execution even after the judge issued a temporary restraining order that blocked the company from providing the drug. He did not directly say “yes” or “no” when asked if Missouri had enough drugs for the execution, but he twice stressed that the Department of Corrections was prepared.

Messages seeking comment about the settlement and Taylor’s execution status weren’t returned late Monday by either Missouri’s attorney general or its Corrections Department. Messages also were left by The Associated Press after business hours with the pharmacy and its attorney.

The state has refused to say where it obtains its execution drug, arguing that the source is part of the execution team and therefore shielded from public disclosure. And the Apothecary Shoppe won’t confirm that it supplies a compounded version of pentobarbital to Missouri for use in lethal injections.

But in their lawsuit, Taylor’s attorneys allege that Missouri turned to The Apothecary Shoppe to supply compounded pentobarbital because the drug’s only licensed manufacturer refused to provide it for lethal injections.

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