New Drug Sparks Sharp Increase in Execution Cost

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Austin American-Statesman Article
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HOUSTON -- The switch to a substitute drug to carry out executions is driving up the costs of carrying out capital punishment in Texas.

A year ago, Texas replaced sodium thiopental as one of the three lethal injection drugs after the European supplier stopped making it and no other source could be found. It was replaced by pentobarbital.

The Austin American-Statesman reported Friday ( ) that the new drug means it costs nearly $1,300 now for drugs for each execution. That's up from $83 under the previous mixture.

Prison officials say each drug has become more expensive but the bulk of the increase is due to the pentobarbital.

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