The Arizona Supreme Court ruled this afternoon that the execution of a convicted murderer -- who's been sitting on death row for nearly 24 years -- can finally go forward.
The court approved the death warrant for Daniel Wayne Cook, who was convicted of the 1987 murders of two men in Lake Havasu City, during which he raped and tortured the men before strangling them to death.
In November, the court refused to set an execution date for Cook because it was unclear how the state acquired the drug sodium thiopental, a sedative used to knock out the inmate before he's hit with a lethal dose of potassium chloride.
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The supply of the drug has dwindled recently because its domestic manufacturer stopped producing it. For other recent executions, the state told the court it acquired the drug from an unnamed British company that wished to remain anonymous because it feared a backlash from anti-death-penalty groups.
Cook's lawyer claimed that because the drug isn't manufactured in the U.S., its quality can't be guaranteed and the condemned may suffer some pain before dying.
Last month, the court ruled again to delay Cook's execution as it awaited the status of a petition filed to reverse the death sentence.
A date for the execution has not yet been set, but inmates are typically executed within 35 days of the death warrant being issued.