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States may be using lethal injection drugs of questionable origins

As the U.S. faces a shortage of lethal injection drugs, death row inmates in Oklahoma have filed a lawsuit seeking details about the drugs that will kill them.

States with the death penalty have faced the shortage since major manufacturers in Europe—where most countries have long opposed the death penalty, with the exception of Belarus—stopped selling to them, according to the Los Angeles Times. Prior to the drug shortage, inmates received the sedative sodium thiopental while they were administered a lethal dose of paralytic drugs.

In the Oklahoma lawsuit, lawyers accused the state of using an unidentified compounding pharmacy to supply new sedatives; as compounding pharmacies are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the attorneys argued inmates could suffer as they die.

The attorneys believe a compounded drug was used during the January execution of an Oklahoma inmate during which the condemned man said, “I can feel my whole body burning.”