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Supreme Court Blocks Texas Execution

The U.S. Supreme Court has halted the execution of Texas death row inmate Cleve Foster. He was supposed to be executed late tonight for the 2002 murder of a woman in Fort Worth. He would have been the first person put to death in Texas using pentobarbital, a single drug that is replacing the three drugs generally used to kill a condemned prisoner.

One of the three drugs is becoming quite rare. Bill wrote last week that two states handed their supplies of sodium thiopental over to the federal government.

Foster's attorneys had appealed the use of pentobarbital. The AP says the high court will look at whether Texas prison officials violated state rules when they changed from sodium thiopental to pentobarbital. The Atlantic examines the properties of pentobarbital, writing that Texas veterinarians can't use the drug when putting an animal to sleep without following specific rules, minimizing animals' pain and suffering.