Controversy over lethal injection drug - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Controversy over lethal injection drug

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Amarillo, Texas - A request from a Lubbock man to halt his execution has been refused by the U.S. Supreme Court minutes before he was taken to the death chamber Wednesday night.

43 year-old Michael Yowell contended in a lawsuit the state's use of a new supply of pentobarbital could cause unconstitutional cruelty.

Yowell along with three other inmates on death row had filed a lawsuit alleging the drugs the state had planned to use could cause the them severe pain or be inadequate to cause death. Texas uses pentobarbital for lethal injection. That drug has been used to put animals to sleep for years, and was originally designed to help treat epilepsy and seizures.

The state has turned to a compounding pharmacy to provide the drugs after more traditional manufactures have refused to make their products available to state prisons for use in capital punishment.

There is no real proof as to whether or not pentobarbital causes pain and suffering for those it is used to kill.