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Arizona’s Execution Drugs Were Not the Same as Mississippi’s

JACKSON, Miss. — It was nearly two hours of gasping and snorting from death row inmate Joseph Wood after he was given a lethal injection in Arizona. Wood was not given the same drugs used in Mississippi, notably pentobarbital. The anesthetic of choice in this case was midazolam which was also used in Ohio and Oklahoma, state that have both seen botched, drawn out executions this year.

Sodium thiopental used to be the drug of choice for executions in the US, but the sole US manufacturer, Hospira, stopped making it in 2011 for the same reason as European drug providers will not export the drug, to prevent it from being used in executions.

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