Joseph Paul Franklin faces execution one minute after midnight on Wednesday. It would be the first in Missouri in nearly three years and the first ever using a single execution drug, the sedative pentobarbital.
Attorney Jennifer Herndon wrote that the use of pentobarbital from a compounding pharmacy puts Joseph Paul Franklin at risk of an “excruciatingly painful execution.”
Nicklasson was first set to be executed Oct. 23, when Missouri planned to use the anesthetic propofol for the first time but the execution was halted.
The Corrections Department said in a news release that it will use the sedative pentobarbital. The Death Penalty Information Center said 13 states use the drug for executions.
Earlier this month, Missouri experienced an extraordinary series of government spokespersons who refused to speak.
Gov. Jay Nixon halted Allen Nicklasson’s Oct. 23 execution following doctor protests along with threats from the anti-death penalty European Union to limit the drug’s export.
“As Governor, my interest is in making sure justice is served and public health is protected,” Nixon said in an emailed statement.
Missouri still intends to use the popular anesthetic for the next two executions, but the Dept. of Corrections has given back the rest of its supply of the drug.
Missouri will move ahead with two planned executions despite efforts in Europe to block the common anesthetic propofol from being used in the procedure, Gov. Jay Nixon said Monday.
The European Union has strict regulations on the sedative drug propofol which could lead to the drug being unavailable to patients on a day-to-day basis if used in Missouri executions.