California Rushing to Kill Before Drug Expires

September 28, 2010

Now we know why California is in a rush to execute Albert Brown.  His lethal injection, now scheduled for 9 pm on Thursday, September 30, will take place just three hours before California’s supply of one of the drugs  expires.  The drug in question, of course, is sodium thiopental, the same drug that its manufacturer, Hospira, has called on states to stop using for executions.   Sodium thiopental, an anesthetic that has very important medical uses, is currently in short supply; using it to kill rather than to heal should be unacceptable to all, regardless of their position on the death penalty.

Given this mess, the 9th Circuit federal appeals court has asked the judge who earlier denied a stay of execution to reconsider his decision.