Today’s execution of Tommy Sells has been carried out. He was the first person executed since Texas acquired a new supply of lethal drugs from a secret source. Texas has executed 513 people since resuming executions in 1982 after an 18-year moratorium.
The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Thursday for the execution of a Texas murderer who sought to raise concerns that a secretly made drug could deliver a painful death.
Tommy Lynn Sells, who was convicted of a 1999 slaying of a teenage girl in Val Verde County along the U.S.-Mexico border, had asked the court to block his execution because Texas officials have refused to disclose details about the pentobarbital to be pumped into his body.
The bid for the high court’s intervention was a last effort to keep him alive by overturning a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to let the execution continue in Huntsville, despite legal concerns over the drug.