Missouri halts lethal injections

AFP-JIJI

Missouri said Friday that it was suspending its next execution amid a controversy over the drug used for lethal injections.

Almost every U.S. state that practices the death penalty has adopted the barbiturate pentobarbital for lethal injections. But as supplies dwindle, states that practice capital punishment are turning to new drugs or new providers, though not without hiccups.

Missouri had planned to use propofol — the anesthetic that killed Michael Jackson — to put to death Allen Nicklasson on Oct. 23. It was forced to return its stocks, however, when the German manufacturer refused to allow the drug to be used for human executions.