Texas executes Robert Fratta after high courts dismiss complaints of expired lethal injections

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Texas executed Robert Fratta on Tuesday night for the death of his ex-wife Farah in 1994. The death of the prisoner was preceded by a dramatic day of court decisions on whether the state can continue to use lethal drugs after their original expiration date.

For years, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has extended its lethal doses of pentobarbital, the only drug used in Texas executions, after retesting their potency levels. Defense attorneys have criticized the practice, arguing that testing is not done correctly and that old drugs have caused a painful death, violating the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

However, the TDCJ continues its work without court intervention as fewer pharmacies are willing to supply drugs for executions.

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