Arizona Prison Officials Called 'Life Savers' for Sharing Lethal Drug

A nationwide shortage of key execution drug sodium thiopental has put several death row cases on hold this year. Documents show that California prison officials obtained some from Arizona, making them very happy: "You guys in AZ are life savers."

The American Civil Liberties Union obtained and released the documents, which was reported by the AP yesterday. The emails show that California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials scrambled to secure some sodium thiopental to execute convicted murderer Albert Greenwood Brown, becoming so desperate that they called a supplier in Pakistan to see if they had any. Texas unsurprisingly snubbed the officials because sodium thiopental is such a hot commodity, but CDCR Undersecretary Scott Kernan found a willing partner next door in Arizona's corrections system, who really hooked Kernan up:

You guys in AZ are life savers," Kernan e-mailed Charles Flanagan, Arizona Department of Corrections deputy director. "Buy you a beer next time I get that way."

And that's how your state-sanctioned executions are made!

[Image via Getty]