Walls Unit Lethal Injection Drug Expires

by Stevie Hall*


The Walls Unit in Huntsville, Texas is home to the highest number of executions in the United States. In September of 2013, for the second time in 13 months, the Walls Unit will face quite a predicament: the sedative drug used for lethal injections will expire.

Texas recently switched to the sedative drug pentobarbital in 2012, but the drug manufacturer Lundbeck opposes the application of their drug in executions. Since then, the manufacturer has limited the distribution of Pentobarbital.


The Walls unit, along with several others across the US, is looking to find a new sedative drug for lethal injections. Some states are turning to compounding-pharmacies that mix existing manufactured drugs, which aren’t inspected by the Food and Drug Administration. There has been sparse talk about using gas chambers for some states, but in Texas, lethal injection is the only legally authorized way of execution. While lethal injection is the primary method of execution for all states that have authorized capital punishment, some states allow execution by electric chair, gas chamber, hanging, and firing squad as alternatives.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark announced that Texas is confident in its ability to find another drug to continue executions.

What do you think about this situation? Should states bring back older methods of execution if drugs cannot be found or manufactured? Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter!

SLMS, pointing you in the right direction.

(936) 294-1717 or slms@shsu.edu

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