Posted Friday, Dec. 17, 2010, at 12:10 PM
Pentobarbital is surfacing onbrowsers a day after the state of Oklahoma executed John David Duty. Pentobarbitalis a sedative used to euthanize animals, but Oklahoma authorities were forcedto use it in Duty’s execution because of a nationwide shortage of sodiumthiopental, one of the main drugs normally used in lethal injections. A federal appeals court cleared the way, ruling that the use ofpentobarbital is not cruel and unusual punishment. Duty is the firstperson in the U.S. to be put to death using this sedative.