State secures more doses of key execution drug
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Thursday, July 12, 2012
7/12/12 at 3:48 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma has secured 20 more doses of a key drug used in executions, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Wednesday.
The state was down to its last dose of pentobarbital, said Jerry Massie, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
The state paid $40,000 for the additional doses, he said.
Oklahoma uses three drugs in its lethal-injection cocktail - pentobarbital is used to cause unconsciousness; vecuronium bromide stops respiration; and, potassium chloride stops the heart.
"There were some issues with the manufacturer, who was overseas, stopping the sale (of pentobarbital) if it related to a state using it for lethal injections," said Diane Clay, a spokeswoman for Pruitt.
"Several states, not just Oklahoma, had to find some alternatives and, in some cases, and go on a hunt for more doses."
Sate law requires that the supplier be kept confidential.
Oklahoma's next execution is scheduled for Aug. 14 at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
Canadian County killer Michael E. Hooper is to be put to death for the 1993 killings of his ex-girlfriend, Cynthia Lynn Jarman, and her two children, Tonya Kay Jarman, 5, and Timmy Glen Jarman, 3.
Hooper had asked a federal court to stop the execution because the state had only one dose of pentobarbital left and it might not work, the Associated Press reported.
His attorney could not be reached for comment.
"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," Pruitt said in a news release announcing the purchase of the additional doses of pentobarbital.
Original Print Headline: State secures more execution drug doses
Barbara Hoberock 405-528-2465