- The Washington Times - Monday, October 14, 2013

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon postponed on Friday the execution of convicted murderer Allen Nicklasson because of threats by the European Union that it would cut off the United States’ supply of propofol.

The European Union, which is against the death penalty, has threatened to cut off supplies for the lethal drug if the execution goes forward, which could have a widespread impact on hospitals nationwide, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Mr. Nixon said he directed Attorney General Chris Koster to request a new execution date for Nicklasson as the department comes up with an alternative. Thirteen states use pentobarbital, but the Danish manufacturer is not allowing distribution of the drug for executions, and many states are looking for other options, the report said.

An executive for Germany’s Fresenius Kabi, the drug manufacturer, cheered Mr. Nixon’s decision to halt Nicklasson’s execution, originally set for Oct. 23.

“This is a decision that will be welcomed by the medical community and patients nationwide who were deeply concerned about the potential of a drug shortage,” John Ducker wrote in a statement.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, which is suing the department to release the records about the state’s propofol supplies, said it is pleased by the governor’s decision.

Gov. Nixon’s action to halt the Oct. 23 execution shows that he recognizes the many challenges involved with the current execution protocol to use propofol,” said Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri. “It is our hope that any new protocol will be open and transparent. Missourians need to have confidence that the government is behaving legally and ethically when meting life and death punishment on their behalf.”