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Oklahoma pharmacy execution: Severe pain possible in execution, drugs not given

An Oklahoma pharmacy and pending execution are the cause for serious debate this week, as a pharmacy has said they will not be giving drugs required for a Missouri inmate’s death due to the possibility of them leading to severe pain. Nonetheless, state authorities from Missouri have revealed that they are still going through with the execution, drugs or not. Yahoo! News reports this Thursday, Feb. 18, 2014, that this capital punishment case has garnered national attention over the possibility of causing a male convict “inhumane punishment” during the lethal injection process.

Oklahoma not providing drugs in possible execution
Creative Commons, CS Monitor

Despite the motion to appeal, this Oklahoma pharmacy execution story is still resulting in an inmate, Michael Taylor, to be put to death according to schedule this Feb. 26, 2014. The pharmacy came to an agreement this week not to offer the state of Missouri the drugs necessary to execute an inmate accused of raping and killing a young girl over 20 years ago on the possibility it might cause severe pain. However, officials are nonetheless proceeding with plans to have the man put to death.

A U.S. District Judge dismissed this Tuesday a lawsuit filed by inmate Michael Taylor against The Apothecary Shoppe (located in Tulsa, Oklahoma) following a legal settlement. The medical dispensary had stated they would not be giving a drug cocktail, particularly pentobarbital, to use in the impending execution. The issue over the humanity of the death penalty, especially after a Florida man's apparently painful death by a new drug cocktail earlier this year, has brought this controversial matter to the forefront. Authorities from Missouri have announced the capital punishment case is still set later this month to end the life of Taylor, who was found guilty of raping and murdering a child from Kansas City back in 1989.

At this time, the Missouri Corrections Department has failed to give a response on the matter. According to the press release on the Oklahoma pharmacy execution headline, Taylor was initially sentenced to be put to death back in 2006. However, he was granted a reprieve at the time due to issues regarding the state’s overall legal execution procedures and whether any pain — including severe or inhumane punishment — was occurring at the time of the approved killings.

A team of lawyers working to represent Taylor have recently opened up a new application with the U.S. Court of Appeals, requesting that instead of a death sentence for the man, he instead be given a life imprisonment behind bars in its place. Their argument asserts that after Taylor pleaded guilty to the heinous crime back in 1991 and later sentenced to execution, he never officially waved his right to be formally sentenced by a jury, not just a judge.