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Robert Henry Moormann

February 29, 2012 by staff 

Robert Henry Moormann, Arizona executed an inmate Wednesday for killing and dismembering his adoptive mother while he was out of prison on furlough for another crime, despite a spate of last-minute appeals over his mental disabilities and how the state has changed and violated its own execution protocol.

The lethal injection given to Robert Henry Moormann, 63, at a state prison was the first Arizona execution using a one-drug method, as opposed to its long-standing three-drug protocol.

The switch was made after corrections officials realized Monday that one of the three drugs had expired. In doing so, they violated their own new written execution protocol by giving Moormann only two days’ notice of how he would be put to death instead of seven days’ notice, as stipulated in the protocol.

Arizona joins Ohio, Texas and several other states that last year made the switch to pentobarbital after the only U.S. manufacturer of execution drug sodium thiopental said it would discontinue production.

In July, the only U.S.-licensed manufacturer of pentobarbital announced that it would put the drug off-limits for executions. And a company that bought the pentobarbital line in December is required to also keep it from use by prisons for executions.

Once states use up their current supplies of pentobarbital, executions could be delayed across the country as officials look for yet another alternative.

Hours after the U.S. Supreme Court turned down a request for a stay, the lethal injection was given to Moormann at 10:23 a.m. and he was pronounced dead at 10:33 a.m.

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