An Oklahoma pharmacy has agreed not to provide the US state of Missouri with a made-to-order drug for an inmate's execution scheduled for next week, according to court documents.
According to the documents filed on Monday, The Apothecary Shoppe, of Tulsa, will not prepare or provide pentobarbital or any other drug for use in Michael Taylor's execution. The documents ask a judge to dismiss a case filed by Taylor's lawyers seeking to stop the pharmacy from providing the execution drug. A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday.
Taylor's attorney, Matt Hellman, said that as part of the deal, the pharmacy acknowledged it had not already provided any drug to the Missouri Department of Corrections for the execution, scheduled for February 26.
The Missouri Department of Corrections and the state attorney general's office did not return calls seeking comment.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has indicated that the state had drugs to carry out the execution. Speaking last Thursday, he did not answer "yes" or "no" when asked about the drug's availability but said: "In order to complete that ultimate responsibility, that's necessary. The Department of Corrections is prepared to carry out that execution."
Taylor pleaded guilty to abducting, raping and stabbing to death a 15-year-old Kansas City girl in 1989.
The Apothecary Shoppe has not acknowledged that it supplies a compounded version of pentobarbital to Missouri for use in lethal injections, as Taylor's team says, and says it can't because of a Missouri law requiring the identities of the execution team to be kept confidential.
In his lawsuit, Taylor alleged that Missouri turned to Tulsa pharmacy because the only licensed manufacturer of compounded pentobarbital refuses to provide it for lethal injections.
Taylor claims that recent executions which used the drug showed it would likely cause him "severe, unnecessary, lingering and ultimately inhumane pain".