Missouri adopts new one-drug standard for executions

The Missouri Department of Corrections announced Tuesday it has adopted a new one drug standard for executions.

Department of Corrections will now use the drug pentobarbital, which will be administered intravenously.

In high doses, pentobarbital causes death by respiratory arrest.

It replaces propofol, which the department had intended to use in future executions. The change became necessary due to concerns about the use of propofol for executions.

The department also announced that it added a compounding pharmacy to its execution team. The compounding pharmacy will be responsible for providing pentobarbital for executions carried out under the new protocol.

The next execution in Missouri, that of offender Joseph Paul Franklin, is scheduled for Nov. 20, 2013. Franklin was sentenced to death for the October 1977 murder of Gerald Gordon in St. Louis.

The Death Penalty Information Center says 13 states use the drug for executions.