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Judge demands source of execution drug

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PHOENIX, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Arizona has been ordered to "immediately and publicly disclose" where the state obtained a drug it plans to use in an execution on Tuesday, authorities say.

Executions nationwide have been postponed because of a shortage of sodium thiopental, a barbiturate.

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In her order Saturday night, U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn Silver canceled a hearing Monday morning but has not yet decided whether to stay the execution of convicted killer Jeffrey Landrigan, The Arizona Republic reported.

On Sept. 30, the Corrections Department announced it had obtained sodium thiopental, though court hearings revealed it had not come from the only apparent source approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has said repeatedly it knows of no other approved source.

Arizona has refused to reveal where it got the drug, with Assistant Attorney General Kent Cattani citing a state law that conceals the identity of executioners.

After the Arizona Supreme Court refused Wednesday to delay the execution, the Federal Public Defender's Office, which represents Landrigan, took the case to federal court. They maintain the drug may have been illegally imported.

On Thursday, Silver asked the state to "voluntarily" reveal the information. The state refused.

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