ST. LOUIS – A new report suggests that the Missouri Department of Corrections has quietly and repeatedly used a sedating drug that has raised concerns in botched executions in other states.
The state has executed nine men since November using the drug pentobarbital. St. Louis Public Radio reported Wednesday that the sedative midazolam also was given to each inmate.
The report cites chemical log forms obtained through a Sunshine Law request showing that "Versed" was administered. Versed is another name for midazolam, which was used in three botched executions in other states earlier this year.
Corrections department spokesman David Owen says Missouri's protocol allows for use of sedatives in advance of the execution, and they are not part of the actual execution. He confirms that only pentobarbital is used for lethal injection.