Mo. senator: Bill seeks panel to review executions

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- As Missouri prepares to execute its third inmate in three months, a state senator wants to change the state's execution process.

Senate Democratic Leader Jolie Justus introduced legislation Tuesday that would create an 11-member commission responsible for setting the state's execution procedure. She says ongoing lawsuits and secrecy about the state's current lethal injection method should drive a change in protocol.

Missouri had used a three-drug cocktail for executions, but it threw out the process after it could no longer obtain the drugs. The state ultimately switched to a form of pentobarbital made by a compounding pharmacy, though it refuses to reveal its origins.

Missouri is scheduled to execute Herbert Smulls at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. Smulls was convicted of killing a St. Louis County jeweler in 1991.

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