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Author Topic: Arkansas buys lethal injection drugs ahead of first execution in 10 years  (Read 2818 times)

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http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/13/arkansas-lethal-injection-drugs-death-penalty

Arkansas buys lethal injection drugs ahead of first execution in 10 years

Department of corrections declines to reveal source of three drugs, including faulty midazolam, as governor anticipates being asked to resume executions.

The Arkansas department of correction has bought the drugs needed to resume lethal injections, and Governor Asa Hutchinson said on Thursday that he expects to be asked soon to schedule the state’s first execution in 10 years.

Department of correction spokeswoman Cathy Frye said the department purchased the drugs last month and the protocol that sets the guidelines for execution procedures was finalized 6 August.

The announcement came the same day the highest court in Connecticut overturned the death penalty in that state, sparing the lives of 11 inmates.

Hutchinson said he expects to see the requests to schedule executions soon.

“I had a conversation with the attorney general yesterday, and I expect you know in the coming week or so, one or more requests for a date to be set,” Hutchinson said. “I couldn’t tell you which cases they are, but the indications are there’s one or more that’s in an appropriate setting to have a date set for execution.”

Under a new law passed by the legislature this year, Arkansas does not have to disclose the source of the drugs, as also is the case in several other death penalty states.

According to an invoice, the department of correction spent $24,226 to buy the three drugs needed for lethal injections, including midazolam. That sedative was implicated in troubled executions in Arizona, Ohio and Oklahoma that went on longer than expected as inmates gasped and made other sounds.

Frye said she didn’t know how many doses were purchased and the staff with access to the drugs wasn’t immediately available to answer questions.

Department staff declined to say whether the drugs were obtained overseas.

Republican state representative Doug House, a North Little Rock attorney, sponsored and helped craft the legislation protecting the identity of the drugs’ supplier. House said on Thursday that he’s glad the state has found a source of midazolam.

“The experience of the department of correction and their colleagues in other states is that drug manufacturers and suppliers will not provide the drugs if they know they are used in conjunction with executions,” House said. “Midazolam does not cause death. It only prevents the condemned person from feeling undue pain and suffering during the administration of the other drugs.”

Judd Deere, a spokesman for state attorney general Leslie Rutledge, said the attorney general’s office has not set a timetable for scheduling execution dates. Eric Nance was the last inmate executed in Arkansas, in 2005. Nance was convicted in 1993 of the murder of Julie Heath, an 18-year-old from Malvern, after picking her up on the side of the road where her car had broken down.

There are currently 34 men on death row in Arkansas, including two inmates sentenced this year to die by lethal injection. Eight of those inmates have exhausted their legal appeals.


Photo caption:  Midazolam, a sedative used in combination with other legal injection drugs, has caused troubled executions in Arizona, Ohio and Oklahoma. Photograph: Sue Ogrocki/AP
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I do not condone or support any illegal activities. All information is for theoretical discussion and wonder.
All activities discussed are considered fictional and hypothetical. Information of all discussion has been derived from online research and in the spirit of personal Freedom.

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