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Texas Prisons Running Out Of Execution Drug

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HUNTSVILLE (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Texas is the nation’s most active death penalty state and officials say they’re running out of the drug used for executions.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) says its remaining supply of pentobarbital expires in September. Department spokesman Jason Clark says officials are exploring all options but have yet to find an alternative.

Texas has lethally injected 11 death-row inmates so far this year, most recently on Wednesday. Two executions are scheduled in September and at least five others are set for following months.

Just last year TDCJ switched to using pentobarbital as the singular execution drug. Previously the sedative had been used in conjunction with two other drugs to put Texas convicts to death. The change was made because stock of one of the two other drugs had gotten dangerously low.

Other death penalty states have encountered similar problems as drug manufacturers have balked at using their products for capital punishment.

Texas has executed 503 inmates since 1976, when the Supreme Court allowed executions to resume. Virginia is second at 110.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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