Inmate to be 1st in Texas executed with new drug

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 | 10:41 a.m. CDT

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A condemned man is set to be the first executed in Texas with a new drug cocktail.

Cleve Foster is scheduled to die this evening. He was convicted in the abduction and slaying of a Sudanese woman nine years ago.

Foster would be the third prisoner executed in Texas this year but the first to die since the state switched from using sodium thiopental to pentobarbital in its lethal three-drug mixture.

The switch resulted from a nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental.

Lawyers will ask the Texas Supreme Court for a last-minute reprieve Tuesday, arguing that state justice department officials didn't follow administrative procedures when they announced the drug change in March.

Pentobarbital, a sedative used in surgery and to euthanize animals, already is used in executions in Ohio and Oklahoma.