Court records confirm that at the time Alabama was trying to source drugs for lethal injection officials were declined by all pharmacies they made contact with. State officials had asked all licensed pharmacist (compounding ) within Alabama to fulfill orders for pentobarbital. At one time the primary drug for lethal injections. Court records also confirm attempts to purchase from 4 other states had also failed. The refusals may well be the precursor to a bumpy road ahead for death penalty advocates. However this despite a ruling by the Supreme court previously clearing midazolam for administration prior to execution.
However the difficulties Alabama faced is not an isolated case. It is seen as a rejection by the pharmacy and medical community as to the practice of lethal injection. There has been a hiatus of around 2 years arising from a shortage of recognised execution drugs. Asides from Court records confirming reluctance by pharmacists Alabama officials have been attempting to revive executions via lethal injection. Several inmates on death row have have contested Alabama’s stance on execution. Court records detail the drugs as midazolam (deaden pain), rocuronium (Muscle relaxant) and potassium chloride (heart).
In some states Midazolam has been cited in botched execution procedures. In 2014 an inmate in Oklahoma took over half an hour to die following injection. Midazolan is seen as inappropriate and cruel by inmates. However the U.S. Supreme Court had approved the use last Summer in Oklahoma seemed to be a pre cursor to executions within Alabama. Court records confirm State lawyers have requested a federal court to pass summary judgement to end any appeal by the inmate facing lethal injection. The lawyers representing the inmate are now attempting to turn the tables.
Prior to Alabama adopting midazolam for lethal injection a challenge was issued against using pentobarbital. This drug being the first choice for execution prior to 2014. However the inmate is now facing a newer replacement drug. Therefore he now wishes to revert to pentobarbital claiming that the drug is not as cruel as midazolam. For a more detailed account on this topic please follow this link.