Shortage of execution drugs forces Indiana to consider options

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"Courtroom Gavel" by Joe Gratz, public domain

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): A shortage of the drugs used for lethal injection in Indiana means an extra stay of execution for a Fort Wayne quadruple murderer.

Joseph Corcoran ran out of appeals 15 months ago for the shotgun murders of his brother and three other people in 1997, but Attorney General Curtis Hill’s office, which must formally request an execution date before a death sentence is carried out, says the state doesn’t have the needed chemicals.

Indiana’s last execution was eight years ago. Since then, several companies have said they’ll no longer sell drugs for use in executions.

Legislators tucked a provision into this year’s budget bill allowing the state to buy the chemicals without disclosing the supplier’s identity, but the state still hasn’t found any.

Senate Corrections and Criminal Code Chairman Mike Young says the Legislature could find another way:

“There’s the Electric Chair. Utah used to do it by rifles, so we may just give (the Department of Correction) options.”

Indiana is one of 17 states where lethal injection is the only legally approved method.

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