25 Oct 2010

Shortage of execution drugs in US

6:00 am on 25 October 2010

Several American states that carry out executions have run out of one of the drugs used for lethal injections, forcing some to postpone scheduled executions.

Only one company in the United States makes the anaesthetic used at the start of an execution, but it is out of stock and production won't resume until next year.

The ABC reports two states - California and Arizona - say they have purchased more of the drug, but won't say where.

That has prompted an inmate scheduled to die in Arizona to file a lawsuit to stop his impending execution on Monday, arguing that the drug may be counterfeit or unsafe.