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Judge: Controversy Over Origin of Drugs Not Enough to Stop Sentence

Judge: Controversy Over Origin of Drugs Not Enough to Stop Sentence

  The fact that the State of Texas plans to use a drug obtained from a so called 'compounding pharmacy' to execute convicted killer Michael Yowell tonight is not a good enough reason to block his scheduled execution, 1200 WOAI news reports.

 

  Meanwhile, the state is refusing a demand by the pharmacy in the Houston suburb of The Woodlands which provided the drug that the five doses of pentobarbital which it sold the Texas Department of Corrections earlier this month be returned.

 

  U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes in Houston says claims by Yowell that using the new supply of pentobarbital will violate the Constitutional protections agaisnt cruel and unusual punishment are 'a guess piled on an assumption.'

 

  "Texas has notified the public on one of its websites that it uses pentobarbital," Hughes wrote in his opinion.  "The only thing that has arisen recently is the source of the ingredients, and that is a potential problem with procurement."

 

  Hughes says a testing lab, Eagle Analytical Services, has determined that the potency of Texas' existing supply of pentobarbital is 98.8%, strong enough to peacefully and quietly execute Yowell and other inmates.

 

  "Yowell speculates about the danger of drugs purchases form compounding pharmacies," Hughes writes.  "He raises everything that could go wrong with an intravenous drug, under, and over potency, allergic reactions, fungal , viral, and bacterial infections, and adulterants, all without the technical data to support" his arguments.

 

  Meanwhile, the owner of the compounding pharmacy is demanding that Texas return the drugs because it was being harassed, and the pharmacy claims it was promises anonymity when it sold the doses to the state after several other pharmaceutical companies refused.

 

"It was my belief that this information would be kept on the 'down low' and that it was unlikely that it would be discovered that my pharmacy provided these drugs," the owner of the pharmacy said in its letter.

 

 The state says it purchased the drugs freely and legally, and has no intention of returning them.

 

  The state purchased five vials of pentobarbital from the pharmacy, and obtaining pentobarbital after they are used may be problematic for the state.  Texas executes far more convicts than any other state.

 

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