Texas executed John Battaglia last week, the third person executed this year, and the second of the week.
The 62-year-old was sentenced to die in 2002 for the murders of his two daughters, whom he shot in 2001 while their mother listened on the phone.
The Texas Tribune reported that Battaglia’s lawyers filed a last-minute appeal on the grounds that the lethal injection drugs officials planned to use had expired, and had made the previous executions this year “tortuous.” Both the Tribune and the Houston Chronicle reported that Anthony Shore, who was executed on January 18, with compounded pentobarbital, and William Rayford, who was executed on January 30, indicated they were in pain after being injected.
According to the Tribune, Battaglia’s lawyers argued that the drugs had an expiration date of January 22, but the drugs were re-tested and given a new expiration date of November. The Tribune reported there was a similar situation last year. The paper said that it had obtained records from the state’s Department of Criminal Justice and found that, “Drugs set to expire in July were removed from stock, and, on the same day, the same number of vials were added back to the inventory with an expiration date set for one year in the future.”
Texas executed seven prisoners in 2017, more than any other state in the country.