US drug maker discontinues key death penalty drug

Friday, January 21, 2011 | 4:02 p.m. CST; updated 9:35 p.m. CST, Saturday, January 22, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The only U.S. manufacturer of a key lethal injection drug is discontinuing the drug's production because Italian authorities wanted a guarantee that it wouldn't be used to put inmates to death — a decision that could disrupt executions in states already struggling with a shortage of the drug.