ARIZONA (USA): INMATE EXECUTED AMID QUESTIONS OVER DRUG
March 29, 2011: Eric John King, 47, black, was executed in Arizona despite last-minute arguments by his attorneys who raised questions over one of the lethal injection drugs.
Eric John King's death at the state prison in Florence was one of the last expected to use a three-drug lethal injection method.
The Arizona Supreme Court declined to stay King's execution Monday after Burke argued that the state should wait until it enacts its new lethal injection protocol. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene. Ryan announced Friday that Arizona will switch to using just one drug in an effort to allay any "perceived concerns" that sodium thiopental is ineffective, but only after the scheduled executions of King and Daniel Wayne Cook on April 5.
Defense attorney Michael Burke had argued that the Department of Corrections may have engaged in fraud when it imported the sedative from Great Britain by listing it on forms as being for "animals (food processing)," not humans. The state said the mislabeling resulted from a clerical error. King was convicted of fatally shooting security guard Richard Butts and clerk Ron Barman at a Phoenix convenience store on Dec. 27, 1989.
King becomes the 1st condemned inmate to be put to death this year in Arizona and the 25th overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1992. King becomes the 10th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in the USA and the 1244th overall since the nation resumed executions on January 17, 1977. (Sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin, 29/03/2011)