Death Row

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Stay for Condemned Murderer, Execution Scheduled for 10 a.m.

If you're reading this after 10 a.m., there's a pretty good chance that convicted murderer Eric John King will be dead.

The United States Supreme Court this morning denied a stay of execution filed by King's attorneys that would have delayed his execution until the state switches to a one-drug execution method.

The state currently uses a cocktail of three drugs to put down the state's condemned criminals, but difficulties obtaining one of the drugs used in that method has raised controversy.

In November, the Arizona Supreme Court refused to set an execution date for another death row inmate 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.

The supply of the drug has dwindled recently because its domestic manufacturer stopped producing it. For another recent execution, 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.

Opponents of the use of a foreign-made execution drug argue that because the drug isn't manufactured in the United States, its quality can't be guaranteed and the condemned may suffer some pain before dying.

The court later said the drug could be used, and it would be the method used to kill King.

King was convicted of killing two men at a convenience store in 1989. He's maintained his innocence ever since.

He's scheduled to die about 19 minutes from the time of this writing.

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James King
Contact: James King