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MO Inmate Given Stay of Execution: The U.S. Supreme Court has granted a Missouri man a temporary stay of execution in order to give the court more time to review the case.  Jim Salter of the Associated Press reports that lawyers for Herbert Smulls asked for the last minute stay of execution after the state refused to disclose which pharmacy they used to acquire the lethal-injection drug, pentobarbital.  Smulls has previously lost several appeals and was already denied clemency by the governor earlier this week.  Update:  See subsequent post.

S.F. Plans to Distribute Free Crack Pipes: Activists are planning to hand out free crack pipes to San Francisco drug users despite heavy opposition from city government officials, including Mayor Ed Lee.  Holly Quan of CBS San Francisco reports that the group plans to hand out 25-50 clean pipes at an exchange event in March, a move that violates both state and federal drug paraphernalia laws.  The city of San Francisco already hands out over 2 million clean needles every year to Heroin users in an effort to reduce the amount of users contracting HIV from dirty needles.

Louisiana to Switch Lethal Injection Drugs for Upcoming Execution: The Louisiana Department of Corrections has made the decision to switch to the same two-drug lethal injection combination used earlier this month in Ohio for the execution of Dennis McGuire.  Ed Payne and Dave Alsup of CNN report that the Department of Corrections announced the switch after efforts to obtain pentobarbital were unsuccessful.  The new combination to be used is midazolam; a sedative, and hydromorphone; a painkiller.  Louisiana death row inmate Christopher Sepulvado, who was sentenced to death in 1992 for the murder of his 6-year-old stepson, is scheduled to be executed February 5.

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