Lack of lethal drugs could alter Missouri death penalty procedure

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COLUMBIA - On Monday, the American Pharmacists Association decided to take a stand against providing lethal drugs to corrections departments around the country.

"I think it's such a welcome step forward. So many medical associations have recognized, rightfully, that it is inappropriate for anyone involved in the health care field to be involved in the process of execution," said Staci Pratt, State Coordinator for Missourians Against the Death Penalty.

With lethal drugs harder to obtain, Missouri and other states may have to turn to older methods such as the electric chair, firing squads and the gas chamber.

KOMU 8 was unable to reach the Missouri Department of Corrections for comment as to whether it would use these older methods if lethal drugs were unavailable.

The state of Missouri already offers the gas chamber as an alternative to lethal injection for death row inmates.

Alternatively, many hope this step will deter Missouri and other states from administering the death penalty at all.

"This is really an opportunity to say, if so many organizations are against this... it's a flag that should tell states that they should no longer be in the business of executing people," Pratt said.

In 2014 Missouri and Texas each executed 10 inmates, more than any other states in the country. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, Missouri has executed 82 inmates since reinstating the death penalty in 1975.

Missouri currently has two inmates scheduled for execution, Andre Cole on April 14 and Kimber Edwards on May 12.