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The Associated Press February 8, 2011, 3:41PM ET

States ask Justice Department for execution help

The Justice Department says it's reviewing a request by 13 states looking for the government's help obtaining supplies of a scarce execution drug.

States are scrambling to find enough sodium thiopental after its sole U.S. manufacturer ceased production and some overseas supplies dried up.

The states asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jan. 25 for help identifying sources for the drug or making federal supplies available to states. The states that signed the letter are: Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia and Tennessee have sought supplies in England, while Nebraska purchased a batch from India.

Justice Department spokeswoman Alisa Finelli says the agency will review the letter.

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