Missouri May Have Lied Under Oath About What Drugs It Used To Kill People And When
CREDIT: AP PHOTO/AMBER HUNT
In three recent lethal injections gone awry, inmates struggled for as much as two hours before they died. These executions occurred in different states, under different circumstances, but they all used the same drug, the short-acting sedative Midazolam. Doctors don’t know how Midazolam works for executions, since it is typically only used to sedate patients during surgery; the drug is not even considered a “true general anesthesia” because it the patient retains some awareness.
So when lawyers asked Missouri officials under oath whether they were or might ever use Midazolam in the state’s lethal injections, it was significant that they said they would not. “We will not use those drugs,” Department of Corrections director George Lombardi said during a deposition in January. But St. Louis Public Radio reported this week that records show they did use those drugs, in every single execution since November of last year. In fact, the two men who swore under oath that the state would not use the drug signed off on documents authorizing the use of the drug. Not only that; documents suggest that officials administered the Midazolam before the execution warrant was even valid, and before witnesses wer