ADC: Search for Controversial Lethal Drug Used in Executions Temporarily Suspended

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – More than a year after Arkansas executed four death row inmates, prison leaders say they are currently not looking for a controversial lethal drug that assisted in their executions.

The Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) confirmed Tuesday it has not been looking for Midazolam, the part of the three-drug protocol that makes an inmate incapable of feeling pain.

ADC Spokesperson Solomon Graves says they still have unexpired supplies of potassium chloride and midazolam. Their supply of potassium chloride are expected to expire in August. Their supply of midazolam is set to expire in January 2019.

ADC Director Wendy Kelly said Tuesday the decision was made after Arkansas’ highest court ruled earlier this year that the department would have to reveal who the drug’s manufacturer is.

ADC Spokesperson Solomon Graves said Tuesday the department is in discussion with the governor and attorney general’s offices on changing the wording of the Arkansas Method of Execution Act, which would protect the identity of the drug’s manufacturer.  

Once it’s approved by the Governor, Graves says ADC will begin Legislative outreach.

Graves says if the wording is changed to protect the identity of the manufacturer, ADC would resume its search for the drug.

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