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UK to Ban Export of Capital Punishment Drug
There is a domestic shortage of the anesthetic thiopental sodium, which is used for lethal injections in every state but Oklahoma. To make up for the shortfall, states have been ordering the drug from overseas, but their ability to do so may soon be curtailed. The UK has announced plans to halt exports of the drug to underline its moral opposition to the death penalty, and it has called on other members of the EU to do the same. Italy is already considering blocking further exports under pressure from the country’s Green Party, who contend that exporting the drug violates the Italian Constitution.
It’s not clear what impact if any this will have on domestic executions. The sole US supplier of the drug expects to have supplies in stock by first quarter of 2011.