- The Washington Times
Friday, September 13, 2019

The Department of Justice last year considered using the deadly opioid fentanyl for use in executing death row prisoners, according to a report Friday.

Ultimately, the department scrapped the plan. In July, Attorney General William P. Barr said his department will use pentobarbital when the government resumes federal executions later this year.

It is not clear why the department contemplated and rejected fentanyl. Consideration of using the drug was disclosed in a court filing last month, Reuters reported.

The full contents of the filing are not public. The Justice Department declined to comment to Reuters.

The department mulled fentanyl as law enforcement continues to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. Fentanyl has become a common substitute for heroin because of its cheaper cost to manufacture and more powerful highs.

In 2017, Nebraska and Nevada accounted they would switch to fentanyl for state executions.

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