By azcentral.com - Michael Kiefer
The Arizona Department of Corrections will use a single dose of the barbiturate pentobarbital instead of a three-drug cocktail to carry out Wednesday's execution of convicted killer Robert Moormann.
And though Death Row defense lawyers have long lobbied for a "one-drug protocol" as used in other states, the corrections department did not make the change willingly. According to a notice filed Monday in the Arizona Supreme Court, corrections officials discovered during a rehearsal for the Wednesday execution that the supply of pancuronium bromide, the second drug in the three-drug process, had passed its expiration date and could not be used.
The current corrections protocol, however, says that such decisions are to be provided to the inmate in writing seven days prior to the scheduled execution date. Ironically, the Corrections Department was sued in December over its inability to adhere to its own protocol, but a federal judge ruled that the lapses did not violate constitutional rights.