Expiration Date Arrives For Lethal Injection Drug

As of today, October 1st, Kentucky lacks a key drug needed for lethal injections.  The state’s last dose of sodium thiopental has expired, and until a new supply of the barbiturate can be obtained, there can be no executions in the commonwealth. 

“We’ve been told by Hospira, which is the lone supplier of the drug, that they are experiencing manufacturing difficulties and that it would be the first quarter of next year at the earliest before it will be available,”
she said.

Jennifer Brislin of the Justice Cabinet says the state has reached out to other states for usable vials, but is finding scant supply.  The drug is part of the execution protocol in most of the 35 states with the death penalty. 

Two weeks ago, Kentucky was set to execute Death Row inmate Gregory Lee Wilson but a judicial stay prevented it.  To date, the stay remains in place.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.