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Lethal injection drug blocked by judge

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Lethal injectionA US federal judge has temporarily blocked an Oklahoma compounding pharmacy from selling a drug to the Missouri department of corrections for use in an upcoming execution.

The restraining order was issued in a lawsuit filed a day earlier in US district court by the Missouri death row inmate Michael Taylor. His attorneys allege that the department contracts with the Apothecary Shoppe to provide the drug set to be used in Taylor’s 26 February lethal injection.

The lawsuit argues that several recent executions involving the drug, compounded pentobarbital, indicate it will likely cause Taylor “severe, unnecessary, lingering and ultimately inhumane pain”.

In his order on Wednesday Judge Terence Kern wrote that Taylor’s attorneys submitted “facts demonstrating that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to plaintiff before defendant can be heard in opposition”.

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