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Future of Missouri executions unclear

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri's decision to not use the anesthetic propofol for capital punishment leaves the state with dwindling options as it seeks to execute two convicted murderers.

Gov. Jay Nixon last week halted what was to have been the first U.S. execution to use propofol following threats from the European Union to limit the drug's export. Nixon ordered the state corrections department to come up with a different lethal injection protocol.

Missouri could follow states such as Ohio and Texas that have turned to private compounding pharmacies to prepare new drug formularies. Or it could seek to administer another FDA-approved barbiturate.

Convicted murderer Allen Nicklasson's lawyer has asked the state Supreme Court to not rule on Missouri's request for a new execution date until it selects a new death penalty drug.

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