America Tonight: New lethal-injection drugs raise new health, oversight questions

Inmates Michael Yowell and William Happ were on death row for more than 40 years combined. In Texas, Yowell shot his father, strangled his mother with a cord and burned their house to the ground in May 1998. In Florida, Happ kidnapped a 21-year-old girl, beating, raping and strangling her on Memorial Day weekend in 1986.

Before this month, Yowell and Happ were only connected by their lives as death-row inmates. Now, they will be connected in their deaths, both executed with controversial new drugs.

Texas and Florida are two states that can no longer use pentobarbital, the drug that 16 states have relied on in the last four years. Last week, Yowell was the first inmate in Texas to be executed with the compounded version of pentobarbital, a version of the drug that is not subject to federal oversight. On Tuesday in Florida, Happ will be the first inmate in the U.S. to be put to death using midazolam hydrochloride, a sedative that hasn’t been tested in executions.

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Photo: AP Photo/Ric Feld, File

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