Midazolam has been implicated in botched executions in three states, and lawyers have filed a petition to stop a convicted murderer's execution in fear the drug will be used.
"We have to stop executions until there's been a full investigation, independent investigation and full transparency," one lawyer said.
The execution of Clayton Lockett did not go off without a hitch Tuesday night.
Instead of death by lethal injection, the Oklahoman inmate died of a heart attack, with the complication attributed to vein failure, the Associated Press reported. The state corrections department was using a new three-drug combination, and the botched execution led them to postpone the execution of Charles F. Warner, also scheduled for Tuesday night, for two weeks.
NCR Today: Read all NCR canonization coverage; Republicans in states can't decide what they really think about Obamacare; executions continue despite questionable drugs.
Prison guards meet in the desert to hand off chemicals for executions. A corrections boss loaded with cash travels to a pharmacy in another state to buy lethal sedatives. States across the country refuse to identify the drugs they use to put the condemned to death.
This is the curious state of capital punishment in America today.
Despite the recent controversy over lethal injection drugs in Ohio and Louisiana, Missouri is forging ahead with the execution of convicted killer Michael A. Taylor.
In light of the proposed death penalty for 20-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, "Jesus weeps ... again" at the injustice, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men said in a statement Wednesday.
"Christ calls us to love our enemies and travel the long, difficult, but humanizing and liberating road to reconciliation," the conference said.
The CMSM statement came in response to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announcing the federal government will seek the death penalty against Tsarnaev, currently being held in federal prison for his alleged role in the Boston Marathon attacks.
I heard the good news on NPR: Washington state's governor, Jay Inslee, announced he will not sign death warrants even though the death penalty is legal in his state. He said there have been "too many doubts raised about capital punishment, [and] there are too many flaws in this system today." That may be the understatement of the year.
Inslee joins Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in declaring what are in effect state moratoriums on the use of the death penalty.
A Louisiana man's execution scheduled for Feb. 5 is on hold until April due to the controversial two-drug cocktail the state planned to kill him with.
Missouri executed last night its third death row prison in three months using a drug that death penalty opponents say may cause excruciating pain before the prison dies.