PHOENIX — As lethal injection drugs become more and more scarce in Arizona, the state’s Department of Corrections has begun allowing attorneys for death row inmates to bring their own drugs.
The Guardian reported Wednesday that the Arizona Department of Corrections’ latest protocol states that the inmate’s counsel can provide pentobarbital, a sedative drug, from a “certified or licensed pharmacist, pharmacy, compound pharmacy, manufacturer, or supplier.”
But if the counsel cannot provide pentobarbital, the department said they can provide the chemical sodium pentothal, an anesthetic, to continue with the lethal injections.
Lawyers, including lethal injection expert Megan McCracken, told The Guardian that the protocol is “absurd.”
“A prisoner or a prisoner’s lawyer simply cannot obtain these drugs legally, or legally transfer them to the department of corrections,” McCracken told the publication. “So it’s hard to fathom what the Arizona department was thinking in including this nonsensical provision as part of its execution protocol.”
Arizona’s struggle with obtaining lethal injection drugs began to surface in 2016, when it eliminated its use of the sedative midazolam as one of the drugs it relies on in carrying out executions.
State lawyers said at the time that they could not carry out executions because Arizona has no access to two other lethal-injection drugs.
Arizona tried to illegally import sodium thiopental in 2015 to use in executions, but the drugs were confiscated at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Executions in Arizona were put on hold after the July 2014 death of convicted killer Joseph Rudolph Wood, who was given 15 doses of midazolam in an execution that his lawyer said was botched.
After Wood’s death, several death row inmates filed a lawsuit against Arizona and the Department of Corrections seeking to change the drugs used and the procedure employed for executions.
There are currently 119 prisoners on Arizona’s death row, according to the state’s Department of Corrections.
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Police: Tucson mayor carjacked, uninjured
- Sanctuary holds 7 cows saved from slaughter to promote peace
- Arpaio successor pulls back on immigration holds in jails
- Weekend storm arrives; Phoenix area gets rain all day Saturday
- Phoenix-area women go viral after ‘dumping Nordstrom’ over Ivanka Trump brand