Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Death-row inmate gets execution date, but drug shortage may cause delay, The Lens reports

According to an article published today by The Lens, convicted killer Christopher Sepulvado may avoid his March 7 execution date because of Louisiana's lack of lethal-injection drugs.

The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy told Sepulvado's attorneys in a letter dated Dec. 19, 2013, that the state disposed of its supply of the drug used in executions by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

Records provided to The Lens show that the last purchase by the state of lethal-injection drugs, Nembutal, occurred in May 2011. Nembutal has a shelf life of 24 to 36 months. Sepulvado's attorney, Gary Clement, told The Lens in October that the state's supply of Nembutal was expired. Those drugs were disposed of in compliance with Louisiana Board of Pharmacy rules, according to The Lens.

Sepulvado's attorneys requested a stay of execution last January. A stay was granted, but subsequently was lifted in federal appeals court last August.

Sepulvado, 69, has remained on death row for nearly two decades, after being convicted in DeSoto Parish for beating and fatally scalding his 6-year-old stepson in 1992. According to court records, the boy's scalp had separated from his skull from hemorrhaging and bruising. Sepulvado admitted stabbing the boy with a screwdriver but claimed the scalding was a bathtub accident, according to a | The Times-Picayune story in January, 2013.

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