Missouri first state to adopt propofol for executions

May 24, 2012

The Missouri Department of Corrections will switch to propofol for all executions.

It’s is best known as the anesthetic that killed pop star Michael Jackson.

In a written statement, Dave Dormire with the Missouri Department of Corrections said propofol will replace the current three-drug cocktail due to unavailability of sodium thiopental

But Death Penalty Information Center director Richard Dieter is concerned about switching to an untested drug.

“It still must be done humanely and the idea that you can simply substitute drugs that were never manufactured for this purpose, I think deserves much more study,” Dieter said.

Bob McCulloch is prosecuting attorney for St. Louis County, and president of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. He says the decision was long overdue.

“It’s about time that we moved on and proceed with the carrying out of these sentences, and I think this is a step in the right direction to do that,” McCulloch said.

There are 47 inmates awaiting execution in Missouri.

Last week, Attorney General Chris Koster requested the state set execution dates for 19 of them.