A state Senator is pushing the Corrections Department to reveal whether an Oklahoma pharmacy that reportedly makes Missouri’s execution drug is part of the company hired to keep other inmates healthy.
St. Joseph Senator Rob Schaaf is a doctor who supported executions until Governor Carnahan pardoned a condemned inmate because the Pope asked him to. Schaaf says that illustrates the arbitrariness of the death penalty.
He’s been told the company providing healthcare to prison inmates, Corizon Correctional Healthcare, owns the Oklahoma pharmacy that provided the drug that killed the last two inmates executed in Missouri. “I just don’t think the same company that takes care or prisoners ought to be engaged in any way helping execute any of ’em,” he says.
The Corrections Department refuses to identify the pharmacy, saying state law protects the identity of the execution team. Schaaf calls that position “baloney,” saying that it makes about as much sense as saying the company that provided the gurney or the company providing the light bulb in the execution chamber is part of the team. “It’s ridiculous,” he says.
When Schaaf quizzed the state budget director and a department official of the corrections department, they said they would consult with department officials and get back to him. He says that’s a non-answer.
The next scheduled execution is less than a week away. Inmate Herbert Smulls is to die by lethal injection next Tuesday night., He committed a murder in 1991.
Sen. Schaaf quizzes state budget director Linda Luebbering and a corrections official: AUDIO: 3:45
Interview with Sen. Schaaf: 1prisdrugB
Interview with Sen. Schaaf: