Missouri switches to new execution drug

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Department of Corrections is switching to a new lethal injection drug, less than two weeks after Gov. Jay Nixon halted executions until a replacement for propofol was found.

The corrections department says in a news release Tuesday that it will use pentobarbital. The Death Penalty Information Center says 13 states use the drug for executions.

The department says the execution of Joseph Franklin on Nov. 20 is still on. Franklin killed Gerald Gordon outside a St. Louis-area synagogue in 1977.

Propofol is the most widely used anesthetic. Nixon on Oct. 11 halted the execution of convicted killer Allen Nicklasson, scheduled for Oct. 23, in part because the European Union was weighing export limits on propofol if it was used in an execution. Most propofol is made in Europe.

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