HOUSTON (October 2, 2013)--Three death row inmates are suing the Texas prison system to challenge what they contend is the use of untested drugs in upcoming executions.
One of the plaintiffs in the suit filed Tuesday in Houston federal court is Michael Yowell, who faces lethal injection next week in Huntsville for killing his parents at their home in Lubbock.
The lawsuit filed on the inmates' behalf demands that Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials fully disclose the drugs they're using and their source so the condemned prisoners won't endure pain and suffering.
Texas' previous supply of pentobarbital, the drug it uses for executions, expired last month, and like other death penalty states, Texas has had difficulty obtaining new drug supplies for capital punishment use.
Corrections officials say they haven't seen the lawsuit.
Meanwhile Wednesday, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, responding to a Freedom of Information request from The Associated Press, disclosed Wednesday that it purchased eight vials of pentobarbital last month from a compounding pharmacy in suburban Houston.
Such pharmacies custom-make drugs and aren't subject to federal scrutiny.
Texas' previous supply of the drug expired last month, and prison officials had refused to say where they were getting a new supply.
Department spokesman Jason Clark says Texas has enough to carry the executions now scheduled this year and into next year.