ST. LOUIS (AP) — As preparations continue for Missouri’s first execution in nearly two years, a civil rights group is raising concerns about the state’s supply of a drug crucial to the execution process.

The ACLU of Eastern Missouri on Thursday announced information uncovered through a freedom of information request. It shows that the Missouri Department of Corrections has a dwindling supply of sodium thiopental, and that what is on hand is nearing its expiration date.

Sodium thiopental is an anesthetic that renders the condemned inmate unconscious.

Corrections officials did not immediately respond to interview requests on Thursday, but have told The Associated Press in recent days that the state has an adequate supply for the execution of Richard Clay, scheduled for 12:01 a.m. Wednesday at the prison in Bonne Terre.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press


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