This file photo shows a trolley in the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester [File: Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo]
A US District Court judge in Washington, DC, has ordered a halt to the federal government’s planned execution on Friday of Keith Dwayne Nelson, saying its lethal injection protocol violates a federal law regulating prescription drugs.
In an opinion released early on Thursday, US District Judge Tanya Chutkan said the law requires the government to get a prescription for the lethal injection drug pentobarbital, which it plans to use to execute Nelson.
It is unlikely any medical professionals would issue the prescription. The government is appealing.
Nelson’s execution was scheduled to be the fifth one this year by the federal government at