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In rush to find lethal injection drug, prison officials turned to a hospital

When the Louisiana Department of Corrections didn’t have the drugs it needed to execute inmate Christopher Sepulvado this January it turned to an unusual source: a hospital.

According to The Lens, the state bought 20 vials of hydromorphone from Lake Charles Memorial Hospital a week before Sepulvado’s execution. The hospital typically uses the drug to ease the suffering of patients. The private, nonprofit hospital didn’t know the drug was going to be used for an execution.

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Want to learn more about covering execution secrecy?

Journalists from four states recently joined IRE to discuss coverage of the death penalty and execution secrecy. Ziva Branstetter, Chris McDaniel, Brian Haas and Della Hasselle shared reporting tips, story ideas and more during the 45-minute Google+ Hangout.

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