Some European drug manufacturers have begun refusing to sell the drugs used for executions by lethal injection to the U.S. That's left some states scrambling for alternative sources or alternative drugs. Indiana prison spokesman Douglas Garrison won't go into detail, but confirms the state has assisted other states.
Garrison says Indiana's not concerned about finding itself in the same position. He says the state has the necessary drugs on hand to carry out a death sentence if the Indiana Supreme Court sets an execution date. And he says the state has contingency plans if it should run short in the future.
Lethal injection is now the primary method of execution in all 32 states which have the death penalty, although 13 states allow inmates to choose an alternative method. Most states which carry out death sentences by injection, including Indiana, use a sequence of three drugs: an anesthetic, a muscle relaxant, and a final, lethal drug which stops the heart.
13 murderers are on Indiana's Death Row, but only one is anywhere near exhausting his appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected Michael Overstreet's appeal of his death sentence for the 2000 abduction and murder of Franklin College student Kelly Eckart, but the Indiana Supreme Court authorized a fresh review last fall of whether Overstreet is mentally competent to be executed.