The Florida Department of Corrections is holding off on the execution of convicted cop killer Manuel Valle until a ruling comes down from the state Supreme Court on whether or not a new drug, called pintobarbitol, provides inmates with a humane death.
"The Florida Department of Corrections is ready to proceed with its duty to execute inmates under a death sentence with our foremost objective being a humane execution," says DOC spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger.
The drug is the first in the course of drugs known as the lethal injection 'cocktail,' and renders the inmate unconscious.
"Following this drug there will be a consciousness check, just like has been done before," says Plessinger. "We're confident in our procedure."
But others aren't so convinced. Last month the drug was used in the execution of a Georgia inmate, but witnesses said the man suffered too much.
The state Supreme Court has ruled that a hearing must be held by August 5th, but it could happen as early as Thursday.
Florida switched from the drug it previously used because the Italian company that manufactured it refused to sell it to Florida because they didn't like how it was being used. Now the Danish company that manufactures the new drug has recently said that they won't supply Florida anymore either.
So it's back to square one for the Florida DOC to find a drug that works effectively and provides a humane execution.