Wyoming corrections head seeks execution options

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 24, 2014 at 5:52 pm •  Published: April 24, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The head of the Wyoming Department of Corrections wants state lawmakers to consider alternative ways to execute condemned inmates as prisons across the nation face a shortage of drugs used in the past.

Bob Lampert, director of the agency, told lawmakers earlier this year that Wyoming might not be able to get the drugs necessary to kill the only inmate currently on death row after his legal appeals are exhausted.

Lampert has urged the Legislature to begin rewriting state laws before a new session convenes next year.

Many states have had problems getting execution drugs, prompting inmates to assert that the uncertainty violates their rights against cruel and unusual punishment.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin announced Thursday that her state is ready to proceed with a double execution following a recent decision by the state Supreme Court that inmates are not entitled to know the source of the drugs that will be used to kill them.

In Wyoming, Lampert is scheduled to address lawmakers at a meeting of the Joint Judiciary Committee on May 12 in Rawlins. His office said he was unavailable for comment Thursday, and Deputy Director Steve Lindly said Thursday he was unable to comment on the matter.

In his earlier comments, Lampert said the substances used in the lethal injection process have become increasingly difficult to obtain anywhere in the United States or from foreign suppliers.

"United States and foreign manufacturers and pharmaceutical sources have restricted the sale of such substances for use in the execution process," he said.

Wyoming's only death row inmate is Dale Wayne Eaton, who is pressing a federal appeal of the state death sentence he received in 2004 in the rape and killing of 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell of Billings, Mont.