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      Nixon received health concerns over execution drug

      The possible use of propofol for an execution had fueled concerns that the anti-death penalty European Union could limit its export.

      Before Gov. Jay Nixon halted a planned October execution, his office received numerous messages raising concerns about plans to use the common anesthetic propofol to administer the death penalty.

      Nixon also directed state prison officials to develop a new death penalty protocol. The Department of Corrections announced this past week that Missouri now will use the sedative pentobarbital in executions.

      The possible use of propofol for an execution had fueled concerns that the anti-death penalty European Union could limit its export.

      Before his move, Nixon's office received several dozen letters and messages from the public, many of which took little position on the death penalty and instead focused on the drug. Correspondence came from health care workers and even a few patients.