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Okla. Inmate Executed with Sedative Used in Animal Euthanasia

Posted Dec 17, 2010 7:35 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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An Oklahoma inmate executed Thursday is believed to be the first person put to death with a sedative used to euthanize animals.

Officials substituted pentobarbital in the execution of John David Duty because of a nationwide shortage of the drug usually used, sodium thiopental, according to the Associated Press and the Tulsa World. Duty, 58, was executed for strangling a cellmate.

On Tuesday, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in Denver cleared the way for the execution when it ruled (PDF) that use of pentobarbital is not cruel and unusual punishment.

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