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  1. #181
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
    Nebraska holds $20 million contract with distributor who supplied death penalty drug in Nevada

    By Joe Duggan
    Omaha World-Herald

    LINCOLN — Nebraska holds a $20 million contract with the same pharmaceutical distributor caught up in a lethal injection dispute that has delayed an execution in Nevada.

    Nebraska prison officials won’t say whether the distributor sold them the four drugs intended for the Aug. 14 execution of Carey Dean Moore. But the Nevada case offers a possible explanation as to how Nebraska may have obtained the drugs.

    The Nevada case is also significant because it marks the first time an execution has been delayed by a drug manufacturer’s legal objections over the use of its product. A similar legal challenge, which as of yet has not been filed in Nebraska, might represent one of the few ways Moore’s execution could be delayed.

    The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services does regular business with Cardinal Health, a national wholesale distributor based in Ohio. In June, the same distributor sold a sedative called midazolam to Nevada, where correctional officials wanted to use the drug for a lethal injection.

    Alvogen, the company that manufactures midazolam, contended that its product was illicitly diverted to Nevada’s execution chamber and recently filed a lawsuit to block its use in the execution of double murderer Scott Dozier.

    “While Alvogen takes no position on the death penalty itself, Alvogen’s products were developed to save and improve patients’ lives and their use in executions is fundamentally contrary to this purpose,” the company stated in a legal filing.

    The drug was shipped to a prison pharmacy, giving the impression that it would be used to treat Nevada inmates who needed medical care, according to the company’s lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged that Cardinal Health had been duped into the sale.

    A Nevada judge postponed the July 11 execution to sort through the allegations levied by the drugmaker. The judge’s ruling came despite the fact that Dozier, like Moore on Nebraska’s death row, has waived his appeals and wants to be put to death.

    Alvogen makes none of the drugs that Nebraska intends to use in its lethal injection.

    But Cardinal Health, the distributor, holds a multiyear contract to sell both prescription and over-the-counter drugs to multiple Nebraska state agencies.

    Could Cardinal Health also be the source of some, if not all, of Nebraska’s four death penalty drugs?

    Laura Strimple, spokeswoman for corrections, would not say.

    “NDCS is not disclosing information about the supplier,” she said.

    A spokeswoman for Cardinal Health did not respond to an email with questions about a possible lethal drug transaction with Nebraska. Nor did she respond to follow-up messages.

    Nothing in public contractual documents shows that Nebraska corrections officials bought the lethal injection drugs from Cardinal Health. It’s possible, for example, that prison officials obtained the drugs from a different distributor or a compounding pharmacy.

    In March, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration questioning whether Nebraska officials had misused a federal permit to buy the drugs. The ACLU suggested that prison officials may have duped a distributor into thinking the drugs would be used for inmate medical care.

    The letter prompted a review of Nebraska’s drug purchase by DEA investigators. A DEA official said in May that the investigators found “nothing in violation of the law.”

    Danielle Conrad, executive director of the state ACLU, said knowing the source of Nebraska’s lethal injection drugs is important because of the gravity of executions. She noted the state’s past difficulties with getting drugs for lethal injections. Nebraska previously obtained execution drugs from a shadowy overseas supplier.

    “Nebraska is seeking to carry out the first execution in the country with this untested four-drug protocol created in secret, risking unnecessary pain and a botched execution,” she said. “In a democratic society, key facts like the source of execution drugs matter.”

    Conrad said pharmaceutical companies have made it clear that their drugs are meant to save lives, not take them.

    “If the state of Nebraska violated contract provisions or disregarded company policies in securing these lethal injection drugs by suspect means, we all have a right to know that and seek remedies,” she said.

    Nebraska plans to use diazepam, fentanyl citrate, cisatracurium besylate and potassium chloride, a combination never before used for an execution.

    Regardless of how Nebraska obtained its drugs, the company that made three of them doesn’t want its products used in Moore’s execution.

    Pfizer mailed letters last year to Nebraska officials asking for the drugs’ return. Sandoz, the maker of the fourth drug, also has indicated that it does not want its product used in lethal injections.

    Pfizer and Sandoz have not taken their objections to court, which some think could be one of the few remaining ways Moore’s execution could be stopped. That’s because Moore has said he no longer wants to fight the state’s efforts to execute him.

    When asked if Pfizer is contemplating legal action, a company spokesman declined to comment last week.

    If the August execution goes forward, it would mark the first lethal injection in Nebraska and the state’s first use of capital punishment in 21 years. The 60-year-old Moore, who is sentenced to die for the 1979 slayings of Omaha cab drivers Reuel Van Ness and Maynard Helgeland, is the state’s longest-serving death row inmate.

    In the past, Nebraska prison officials have released records identifying their drug supplier. But now they are following a secrecy strategy adopted by most death penalty states in an attempt to keep their drug pipelines open.

    The World-Herald, the Lincoln Journal Star and the ACLU of Nebraska filed lawsuits arguing that the records should be released in the interest of government transparency and accountability. A district judge sided with the newspapers and the advocacy group, but the Attorney General’s Office blocked the release of the records by quickly appealing the judge’s order.

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  2. #182
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
    Drugmakers object to use of products in Nebraska execution

    By Associated Press

    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Two more pharmaceutical companies are objecting to Nebraska's use of lethal injection drugs that may have come from them.

    Representatives of Sandoz Inc. and Hikma Pharmaceuticals said Thursday they have not confirmed whether Nebraska's corrections department has obtained their products.

    It's also not clear whether they'll pursue a legal challenge that could derail the planned Aug. 14 execution of death row inmate Carey Dean Moore. Nebraska officials have refused to identify their supplier.

    Sandoz and Hikma are each one of several manufacturers of drugs that are part of Nebraska's lethal injection protocol. The companies say using their drugs in an execution contradicts their values.

    Drugmaker Pfizer sent a similar letter to Nebraska officials. State Sen. Ernie Chambers, a death penalty opponent, is urging the company to do more to intervene.

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  3. #183
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    Does this mean that they won't ever execute Lotter? Or just playing with the Justice here?

    Nebraska prisons head: State can’t buy execution drugs again

    OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Delaying the execution of a longtime death-row inmate would likely prevent the state from ever carrying out the sentence because officials can’t purchase any more of the necessary lethal injection drugs, Nebraska’s prisons director acknowledged Thursday.

    Corrections Director Scott Frakes said in a sworn statement that the pharmacy that supplied Nebraska’s current batch of drugs is unwilling to sell the state any more. He said he has contacted at least 40 potential suppliers in six states, and only the current supplier would provide them.

    The affidavit came in response to pharmaceutical company Fresenius Kabi’s lawsuit alleging that the state intends to use their drugs improperly. The company strongly opposes the use of its drugs for capital punishment, and claims state officials obtained their product illegally. Frakes said the state procured the drugs lawfully.

    A federal judge is expected to rule Friday on whether to temporarily prohibit the state from using the drugs in its possession for the execution of Carey Dean Moore, who was condemned to die for the 1979 murders of two Omaha cab drivers. One of the four drugs in Nebraska’s lethal injection protocol expires on Aug. 31, leaving the state unable to carry out the sentence.

    An order to temporarily bar the state from using the drugs “would more than likely have the effect of changing Nebraska’s final death sentence into a de facto sentence of life in prison for Carey Dean Moore,” Frakes said in the affidavit.

    But the families of Moore’s victims said they’re long past ready for his execution.

    Moore fatally shot the father of Richelle Van Ness-Doran in 1979. She told the Omaha World-Herald that waiting 38 years for the execution is enough.

    “It’s just prolonging this,” she said. “It’s like a slap in our face.”

    Lori Helgeland-Renken’s father also was killed, five days after. She said the months leading up to the scheduled execution have again rekindled the pain and fear she felt after her father’s death.

    “It’s been just exactly like it happened,” Helgeland-Renken said. “I’ve had a lot of anxiety. I’ve decided I can’t change the outcome of anything ... so I just can’t be immersed in it.”

    Moore’s execution dates have been repeatedly delayed. He’s stopped challenging the state’s efforts to execute him, which gives death penalty opponents limited options to stop his lethal injection.

    Helgeland-Renken said she’d prefer Moore have his sentence changed to life in prison without parole if the execution is delayed again. That way, he’d be forgotten instead of continuing to surface in legal fights over capital punishment, she said.

    Helgeland-Renken’s brother, Steve Helgeland, said attention is often focused on the legal battle to execute Moore, but the lives shattered by his crimes must be remembered.

    The siblings don’t plan on witnessing the execution, and neither does Van Ness-Doran.

    “I’m not going to celebrate. There’s no point of celebrating,” Van Ness-Doran said. “I just want the thought that he is not living there ... and hope to God that no one takes his spot.”


  4. #184
    Senior Member CnCP Legend
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    Jun 2015
    Bucks County Pennsylvania
    They are being dramatic they will find more.

  5. #185
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Judge declines to dismiss Nebraska AG's lawsuit against lawmakers, quashes Frakes subpoena

    A Lincoln judge has declined to dismiss an unusual lawsuit filed against state senators on the Judiciary Committee by the Nebraska Attorney General's office.

    Lancaster County District Judge Lori Maret also quashed the subpoena they'd issued for Scott Frakes, the state's prison director, to come answer the committee's questions about the state's lethal injection drugs.

    In a press release Friday, Attorney General Doug Peterson called the ruling "a victory for the foundational principles of rule of law and separation of powers."

    At a hearing May 10, William Connolly, a retired Nebraska Supreme Court justice, called the lawsuit weird and said in 54 years practicing law and on the bench he'd never seen anything like it.

    He told Maret she had the opportunity to open up the window, pull back the shroud of secrecy and let the sun shine in and see how Frakes went about establishing the state's death-penalty protocol.

    Connolly argued she should dismiss the lawsuit for a number of reasons, including the fact that senators are absolutely immune from litigation.

    In an order dated Tuesday but not served until Friday, Maret didn't address the senators' contention that they couldn't be sued, but rather focused on Nebraska Revised Statute 50-406, which deals with legislative committees and public hearings.

    That law says senators can require any state agency, political subdivision or person to provide information relevant to their work.

    The Attorney General's office argued the committee wasn't discharging a duty imposed by the Legislative Council, by statute or by resolution of the Legislature.

    "The court agrees," Maret said.

    The senators argued the law required the Judiciary Committee to have permission of the Executive Board of the Legislative Council.

    The judge said the Judiciary Committee satisfied one of the requirements in order to issue a subpoena, but not both.

    Maret said the motion to dismiss raises several issues, "including novel questions under Nebraska's Constitution that our appellate courts have not yet addressed. This court has considered the motion to dismiss and declines to sustain the motion."

    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  6. #186
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    Bucks County Pennsylvania
    Edited out Grandstanding

    Legal battles continue over Nebraska's desire to use death penalty

    The Lincoln Journal-Star

    Nebraska last week completed its first execution in 21 years when it put 60-year-old Carey Dean Moore to death.

    Moore had been on death row for 38 years, and had stopped fighting the state's attempt to bring capital punishment back to life with his lethal injection death sentence.

    That's not the case for the prisoner who was notified in November by the Department of Correctional Services of the drugs that would be used for his potential execution.

    Jose Sandoval was sentenced to death along with Jorge Galindo and Erick Vela for the 2002 shootings and killings of Lisa Bryant, Lola Elwood, Samuel Sun, Jo Mausbach and Evonne Tuttle in a botched bank robbery attempt in Norfolk.

    Even though Moore was notified of the drugs that would be used in his death sentence after Sandoval, the state sought his execution warrant first.

    A department spokeswoman said the department has not requested a warrant for Sandoval from the Nebraska Supreme Court. But it is continuing to seek lethal injection drugs to replace those that will expire soon.

    John Lotter is now the man who has been on death row the longest, but he has received no notification of lethal injection drugs to be used in his sentence.

    Lotter and Marvin Nissen were convicted of killing Brandon Teena, a transgender man. They killed Teena in 1993 to silence him after he told police they had raped him. They also killed Lisa Lambert and Phillip DeVine, who lived in the same house in Humboldt as Teena and witnessed the killing. Lotter has maintained his innocence.

    Attorneys for Lotter have alleged in a court filing that he is ineligible for the death penalty because he functions intellectually as a child.

    Nearly nine months ago, ACLU of Nebraska filed a lawsuit on behalf of most death row inmates, including Sandoval and Lotter, that claims the ballot initiative that stopped the Legislature’s 2015 repeal of the death penalty was illegal.

    The suit was an attempt to stop any executions, or even steps toward an execution, of Nebraska's condemned prisoners. But eight months later, the state put Moore to death.

    Sandoval told the Journal Star in November he intended to fight the execution.

    Attorney Stu Dornan filed a motion in Madison County District Court in December arguing that Sandoval, 38, should be resentenced to life in prison or have another capital sentencing hearing.

    The Legislature repealed the death penalty in May 2015, then nullified the governor's veto of the bill (LB268) with another vote. The repeal, Dornan said, went into effect Aug. 30 before it was suspended again because of an initiative referendum vote.

    "Mr. Sandoval is subject to a uniquely cruel and unprecedented form of psychological suffering through alternating periods of relief and terror as he has been told that his life would be spared, and then told again that he would be executed," the motion said.

    Briefs have been submitted in the ACLU lawsuit in Lancaster County and are awaiting scheduling of oral arguments.

    Prisons director Scott Frakes said earlier this month, in an affidavit filed as the result of a motion by drug company Fresenius Kabi to stop the use of two drugs in the execution of Moore, that he had no other source or supplier for the drugs to be used in future executions.

    But he is still trying.

    One of the drugs, the department's supply of potassium chloride, will expire Aug. 31, and Frakes said he has no other source or supplier for the drugs at this time. A second drug, cisatracurium, will expire Oct. 31.

    Laura Strimple, spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections, said in an email that it is the responsibility of the department to carry out the death sentence orders of the court, and that includes continuing to pursue procuring the necessary lethal injection drugs.

    She said she would not speculate on whether the department would consider changing the drugs or the death penalty protocol.

    ACLU of Nebraska Executive Director Danielle Conrad said Friday that individual constitutional rights are not decided at the ballot box, and did not give Gov. Pete Ricketts permission to violate the state's tradition of open government when carrying out government's most grave function, the death penalty.

    "Next legislative session will see a wave of new reform and abolition efforts," Conrad said.

    And ACLU of Nebraska intends to litigate the remaining legal and policy issues surrounding Nebraska’s death penalty, she said.


  7. #187
    Senior Member CnCP Legend
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    Jun 2015
    Bucks County Pennsylvania
    So any law that is passed that the ACLU doesn't like is illegal.

    I can't wait for the day when they and the SPLC aren't treated like the civil rights crusaders that they once were.

  8. #188
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
    With ACLU ,you have not freedom of speech ,it is all over US they are powerful . As well ACLU is anti-American .
    Dp for me. Thanks. God bless America.

  9. #189
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Drug companies drop lawsuit to keep Nebraska from using their products in executions

    2 pharmaceutical manufacturers will suspend their legal fight to prevent Nebraska from using their products in lethal injection executions.

    Fresenius Kabi filed a notice Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the voluntary dismissal of a lawsuit that unsuccessfully tried to keep Nebraska from using drugs that the company believed were its in the Aug. 14 execution of Carey Dean Moore. Sandoz Inc. withdrew a motion to intervene in the same lawsuit.

    Both companies made a late attempt to keep the state from going ahead with Moore's execution, arguing that they would suffer serious financial harm if their products were linked to a lethal injection.

    Nebraska carried out its 1st lethal injection using diazepam, fentanyl, cisatracurium and potassium chloride. Fresenius Kabi presented evidence that the potassium chloride was its product, while Sandoz argued that the cisatracurim could have been made at one of its plants.

    Lawyers with the state argued that prison officials obtained the drugs legitimately, and the state refused to halt the execution.

    The state's supply of potassium chloride will expire Friday, and the cisatracurium expires Oct. 31. Although prison officials have said they are working to obtain fresh supplies, they also recently said they have no immediate source to replace the drugs.

    Like many drug companies, Fresenius Kabi and Sandoz require their suppliers to sign contracts preventing the sale of their products for use in capital punishment.

    Just days before the execution, Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf denied a restraining order sought by Fresenius Kabi. The judge said he would not frustrate the will of Nebraska voters, 61 % of whom voted in 2016 to overturn a legislative repeal of capital punishment.

    The judge's ruling was upheld on appeal by the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Company officials decided not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Moore, 60, was put to death with the 4-drug combination after spending 38 years on death row. He was convicted of the 1979 slayings of Omaha cabdrivers Reuel Van Ness and Maynard Helgeland.

    Nebraska had gone 21 years between executions. The last one was carried out with the electric chair before the method was ruled unconstitutional in the state.

    (source: Omaha World-Herald)
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  10. #190
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Nebraska's death penalty repeal was temporary, but it changed inmates' sentences, ACLU argues

    Was the State Legislature’s repeal of the death penalty in effect long enough to give the members of Nebraska’s death row a new sentence of life in prison?

    Yes, an attorney with a leading civil rights organization told the Nebraska Supreme Court on Wednesday.

    Brian Stull, a North Carolina-based lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, told judges that the repeal went into effect on Aug. 30, 2015, and wasn’t suspended until Oct. 16, when petition signatures were verified as sufficient to force a voter referendum on the future of capital punishment.

    “Because a repeal was in effect, my clients no longer face the death penalty,” he said.

    That was disputed by attorneys representing the state, Gov. Pete Ricketts and sponsors of the referendum. They argued that a Lancaster County judge was correct in dismissing the ACLU’s lawsuit 10 months ago. The repeal of the death penalty never went into effect, they said, because, four days before it was to be enacted, it was suspended when the referendum signatures were turned in.

    Ryan Post of the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office also maintained that the power to change final criminal sentences is reserved only for the State Pardons Board.

    “I don’t believe the Legislature can change the final sentences,” Post said. “They can change sentences (only) going forward.”

    Supreme Court judges, who will rule later on the case, had several questions for the attorneys, who presented conflicting arguments on whether a law is suspended when referendum petitions are turned in or later, when they are verified as sufficient to force a vote.

    Nebraska voters, by a large margin, restored the state’s death penalty at the ballot box in 2016. A year later, the ACLU of Nebraska filed suit, seeking a judgment that death row inmates’ sentences had been changed to life in prison because the Legislature’s 2015 repeal had gone into effect, if only for a few weeks. Lancaster County District Judge John Colburn rejected those arguments in February, prompting an appeal and Wednesday’s oral arguments.

    The ACLU had argued earlier this year that the planned execution in August of death row inmate Carey Dean Moore should be postponed until their appeal was decided. But that claim was rejected and the execution of Moore — the state’s first in 21 years — was carried out.

    On Wednesday, Stull argued that if the Legislature lacks the power to change sentences, that could prevent lawmakers from reforming overly harsh criminal sentences. He added that allowing the mere submission of petitions — before they are counted and verified — to suspend a law would frustrate the powers of the Legislature.

    He also argued that the case wasn’t about jurisdiction but about clarifying that the death penalty repeal had gone into effect.

    Post, meanwhile, said the signatures turned into the Nebraska Secretary of State on Aug. 26, 2015, exceeded the requirement — more than 10 percent of registered votes in the state — necessary to suspend the repeal of the death penalty until voters decided. So the repeal never went into effect, he said.

    “The only way we can read the state constitution,” he said, was that the repeal was suspended “upon filing” of the petitions. There is no requirement that they be verified first, Post said.

    Attorney J.L. Spray, who represented the sponsors of the referendum to restore the death penalty, said that changing the death row sentences to life in prison would “frustrate, chill or destroy” the right of voters to override decisions by the Legislature.

    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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