European Union restricts sale of execution drugs

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011

The European Union is restricting the sale of a key lethal injection drug in a move that could worsen a supply shortage that has already delayed some U.S. executions.

The European Commission said Tuesday it would strengthen export controls on the sale of sodium thiopental and other drugs that could be used in lethal injections to countries that have not yet abolished the death penalty.

Sodium thiopental was used by most U.S. states as part of a lethal injection combination, but many have switched to an alternative drug called pentobarbital amid an ongoing shortage.

The move comes under pressure from death penalty opponents and months after Britain said in April it would block the export of three lethal injection drugs to the U.S.

(Copyright 2011, The Associated Press)


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