Obtaining lethal injection drugs no problem for Pa. DOC

    While other states face a shortage of lethal injection drugs used in executions, Pennsylvania’s supply isn’t a problem.

    A nationwide shortage of lethal injection drugs comes as more pharmacies that mix dosages for clients decided not to provide execution drugs due to negative publicity, as well as legal and ethical concerns.

    Pennsylvania has obtained its trio of lethal injection drugs from such pharmacies, and is facing an active federal class-action challenge to its execution protocol.

    Still, the drugs remain readily available, according to Sue McNaughton, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections.

    “I’ve talked with our secretary about this and we have not had any problems obtaining the drugs in the past and we don’t expect that we would encounter any problems obtaining the drugs in the future,” she said.

    Drug supply isn’t an urgent issue right now.

    A federal judge granted a stay of execution for the 55-year-old inmate whose death warrant was signed by Gov. Tom Corbett last week. Stephen Rex Edmiston was convicted 25 years ago of killing a toddler.

    The last execution in Pennsylvania was 15 years ago while Tom Ridge was governor. As of Feb. 4, 190 people were listed on death row in the state.

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