Mo. to proceed with two executions

ST. LOUIS — Missouri will move ahead with two planned executions despite efforts in Europe to block a common anesthetic from being used in the procedure, Governor Jay Nixon said Monday.

German company Fresenius Kabi produces almost the entire supply of propofol, but the European Union is considering possible export limits as part of its anticapital punishment policies.

Missouri has enough to carry out it next two executions and one more, the first scheduled for later this month, but Nixon declined to say what the state would do if it is unable to get more propofol. The drug made headlines in 2009 when pop star Michael Jackson died of an overdose.


The Missouri executions would be the first to use propofol. The state changed its execution protocol last year.

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Nixon said state and federal court systems, not European politicians, will decide death penalty policy in Missouri.

‘‘A number of courts have already had an opportunity to review this matter,’’ Nixon said, referring to broader legal challenges to the death penalty. ‘‘We’re going to continue to monitor it very closely.”

Convicted killer Allen Nicklasson is scheduled to die by injection on Oct. 23. Joseph Franklin is scheduled to be put to death on Nov. 20.

On Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Correction, alleging that the agency failed to comply with open records requests related to its planned use of propofol.

Associated Press