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Execution with Animal Euthansia Drug Set for This Evening (Dec 16, 2010)

Oklahoma was the first state in the nation to have a lethal injection law, and it could become the first in the U.S. to kill an inmate using a sedative commonly used to euthanize animals.

John David Duty is set to die at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.

A federal appeals court this week upheld a ruling that allows the state to substitute pentobarbital for sodium thiopental, an anesthetic normally used in the state's lethal injection formula.

A nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental led Oklahoma to alter its three-drug cocktail.

Attorneys for Duty and two other death-row inmates argued during a November hearing that pentobarbital had not been used before in executions and could be inhumane.

Duty was convicted and sentenced to die for the December 2001 slaying of 22-year-old Curtis Wise.

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