Texas Faces Execution Drug Shortage

| by Emily Smith
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The execution-happy state of Texas is expected to run out of pentobarbital, one of three drugs used for lethal injections.

"We will be unable to use our current supply of pentobarbital after it expires," Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark said. "We are exploring all options at this time."

The state, which Rick Perry once lauded for its significant number of executions, has executed 503 inmates since 1982, including 11 this year. Five more are planned for the year.

Texas switched to pentobarbital last year after a previous drug became difficult to obtain and the supply expired. Other states that allow the death penalty have encountered similar problems, like companies refusing to sell or manufacture the drug for use in execution.

“These manufacturers don't want to participate in our executions,” Richard Dieter, the executive director of an anti-death penalty organization in Washington, said. “They've clamped down as much as they can.”

As an alternative to obtaining drugs scrutinized by the Federal Drug Administration, Georgia has begun obtaining drugs from compounding pharmacies that make customized drugs.

Sources: The Huffington Post, MSN