Inmate Executed with Animal Drug

Oklahoma officials executed a convicted murderer Thursday using a new drug combination commonly used to euthanize animals—after a nationwide shortage of a key ingredient in the old formula. John David Duty and two other inmates had challenged the state’s decision to use pentobarbitial in the execution serum, arguing it could be inhumane, since recipients could be paralyzed and still aware while a third drug is administered to stop the heart. But a federal appeals judge on Tuesday upheld a ruling against Duty and the two other inmates, and Duty became the first person in the U.S. to be executed using the new drug combination. Duty had been convicted nearly 10 years ago for strangling his cellmate while serving three life sentences for rape, robbery and shooting with intent to kill.