For most of the 482 State-sanctioned executions Texas has performed since the death penalty was reinstated, executioners have used a combination of three drugs to kill the condemned. Now, the state will only use one: pentobarbital. Officials say the state has enough for 23 more executions, but the drug’s Danish manufacturer doesn’t want it used for capital punishment. According to the Associated Press, the state’s supply of pancuronium bromide, a muscle relaxant, has expired.
Does this mean the state will eventually stop killing people to show that killing people is wrong? Of course not. It turns out, the nine executions the state has scheduled for the next three months will serve as experiments for the rest of the country.Â Richard Dieter, executive director of the Washington-based Death Penalty Information Center, describes the new execution procedure like this: “The person still goes to sleep and gradually loses mental capacity and dies, but it may take a slightly longer time,” Dieter said. “I think the idea originally was to cause death quickly, but you needed the anesthetic to make those next two drugs painless.”