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Courts Deny Stay of Execution for Lethal Injection Drug Probe

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Tuesday night, the full Court released an order denying a last minute stay of the execution of Emanuel Hammond, a Georgia man accused of the murder of teacher Julie Love in 1988. Just two hours prior, Justice Thomas temporarily granted a delay in the execution -- "pending further order" -- of the Court. But later, the Court released  an order saying that Thomas had referred the matter to the full Court, and the full Court decided to deny Hammond's request to delay his execution.

Hammond's lawyers had argued that they wanted more time to investigate Georgia's supply of a lethal injection drug. The lawyers said that because the drug -- sodium thiopental -- is in short supply in the U.S., states are relying on shady sources to get the drug. Hammond's lawyers claim Georgia ordered the drug from Dream Pharma -- a London company based in a driving school and say they are unsure whether the drug is expired or even labeled properly.

The only U.S. manufacturer, Hospira, has announced it's halting production. Nearly all of the 39 states that permit lethal injection use sodium thiopental.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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