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Judge Blocks Importation Of Drug Used In Execution
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Thread: Judge Blocks Importation Of Drug Used In Execution

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    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Judge Blocks Importation Of Drug Used In Execution

    Judge: FDA allowed state to illegally gain execution drug

    A U.S. District Court judge on Tuesday morning found that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration violated the law by allowing Arizona and other states to bypass regulations while importing unapproved drugs to carry out executions by lethal injection.

    The ruling was made in a lawsuit filed in the name of Donald Beaty, an Arizona Death Row inmate who was executed last year.

    The drug sodium thiopental, a short-acting anesthesia, that was used in executions. became unavailable in mid-2010 because its sole U.S. manufacturer had ceased production. That fall, The Arizona Republic first reported that Arizona corrections officials had obtained the drug from a distributor in London, although FDA officials were saying that it was not possible to import the drug; such exports also violated Bristish law and were shut down shortly afterward. In late December 2010, FDA officials told The Republic that it would exercise "enforcement discretion" on the matter.

    E-mails obtained through Freedom of Information requests later showed that FDA officials had allowed the shipments. In April 2011, the drug was seized from some states by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and in June 2011, Arizona was told it could not use its supply, one day before Beaty's execution. Beaty was executed using a different drug.

    In his ruling Tuesday, Judge Richard Leon of the District Court for the District of Columbia, wrote, "In the final analysis, the FDA appears to be simply wrapping itself in the flag of law enforcement discretion to justify its authority and masquerade an otherwise seemingly callous indifference to the health consequences of those imminently facing the executioner's needle. How utterly disappointing!"

    Dale Baich of the Federal Public Defender's Office in Phoenix said, "The states that have imported non-FDA approved drugs are now on notice that those drugs are illegal."

    Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articl...#ixzz1qLatZr7Q
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    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    District Judge Richard J Leon United States District Court



    Chambers: (202) 354-3580

    Courtroom Deputy:
    Kenneth Cockrell (202) 354-3177

    Court Reporter:
    Patty A. Gels (202) 962-0200

    Judge Leon was appointed to the United States District Court in February 2002. He received his A.B. from Holy Cross College in 1971, his J.D. cum laude from Suffolk Law School in 1974, and his LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 1981. Immediately prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Leon was engaged in private practice in Washington, D.C., as a partner in the Washington office of Baker & Hostetler (1989-1999), and Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease (1999-2002). Prior to and while in private practice, Judge Leon served as counsel to Congress in the investigations of three sitting Presidents. In 1987, he was the Deputy Chief Minority Counsel for the U.S. House Select “Iran-Contra” Committee. From 1992-1993, he was the Chief Minority Counsel to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee’s “October Surprise” Task Force. In 1994, Judge Leon was Special Counsel to the U.S. House Banking Committee for its “Whitewater” investigation. He also served in 1997 as Special Counsel to the bipartisan U.S. House Ethics Reform Task Force. Earlier in his career, Judge Leon served at the U.S. Department of Justice in a number of positions including Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Environment Division, Senior Trial Attorney in the Criminal Section of the Tax Division, and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. He also served as a Commissioner on the White House Fellows Commission and the Judicial Review Commission on Foreign Asset Control. A former full-time law professor at St. John’s Law School (1979-1983), Judge Leon is currently an adjunct law professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and the George Washington University Law School.

    http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/dcd/leon
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    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Execution drug ruling to have little effect on AZ

    A federal judge's decision to block the importation of a drug used in some executions in Arizona is expected to have little or no immediate impact on the state.

    U.S. District Judge Richard Leon on Tuesday sided with lawyers for death-row inmates in Arizona, California and Tennessee who wanted to keep imported sodium thiopental from being used in executions because it was made overseas and was unapproved by the FDA.

    Leon also ordered the FDA to immediately notify any state correctional departments with foreign-made sodium thiopental that its use is prohibited by law, and that the drug must be returned to the FDA.

    Arizona Department of Corrections spokesman Bill Lamoreaux did not immediately respond to a question Tuesday about whether the department still has any of the foreign-made drug.

    The department used the drug pentobarbital in its most recent executions on Feb. 29 and March 8.

    Arizona Assistant Attorney General Kent Cattani said the department has enough of that drug for the next four or five executions in the state.

    Once Arizona runs out of its supply of pentobarbital, it's unclear what will happen.

    In July, the only U.S.-licensed manufacturer of pentobarbital announced it would put the drug off-limits for executions. And a company that bought the pentobarbital line in December is required to also keep it from use by prisons for executions.

    Cattani said the state likely will simply find another drug.

    In using pentobarbital this year, Arizona joined Ohio, Texas and several other states that made the switch to the drug after the only U.S. manufacturer of the execution drug sodium thiopental said it would discontinue production.

    Dale Baich, an attorney who defends many inmates on Arizona's death row and has argued against the state's use of foreign-made sodium thiopental, said time will tell if Tuesday's ruling will have any significant impact on the state. If nothing else, he said it sends a message.

    "The ruling is clear that states that have imported non-FDA-approved drugs are now on notice that these drugs are illegal," he said.

    The state has scheduled two more executions this year, and could schedule up to three more after that for inmates whose appeals have just about run their course.

    Thomas Arnold Kemp, 63, is set to be executed April 26 for killing a Tucson college student after robbing him. Samuel Villegas Lopez, 49, is scheduled to be executed May 16 for the rape and murder of a Phoenix woman.

    http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/usa...xt|FRONTPAGE|s
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    Moderator MRBAM's Avatar
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    I'm curious what other DRUGS could be used for executions? For the purposes of my question lets please NOT include returning to the electric chair, hanging, firing squad and lethal gas.

    As one possible replacement - it seems like Propofol could be used - but its makers seem to be EU companies who may limit its use similar to what they've done to sodium thiopental and not pentobarbital. Additionally, it seems that Propofol is already in short supply for various manufacture problems so steady reliable supply might be questionable.
    Last edited by MRBAM; 03-27-2012 at 08:00 PM.

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    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bambam02118 View Post
    I'm curious what other DRUGS could be used for executions? For the purposes of my question lets please NOT include returning to the electric chair, hanging, firing squad and lethal gas.

    As one possible replacement - it seems like Propofol could be used - but its makers seem to be EU companies who may limit its use similar to what they've done to sodium thiopental and not pentobarbital. Additionally, it seems that Propofol is already in short supply for various manufacture problems so steady reliable supply might be questionable.
    Any barbiturate could be administered intravenously to achieve the desired level of sedation, but the department of corrections seem to prefer the short time half life medications. The issue at hand is where the medication is manufactured, not so much the drug of choice.
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    Moderator MRBAM's Avatar
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    That's what I mean........so I'm just curious what ones that leaves as possible selections.

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    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bambam02118 View Post
    That's what I mean........so I'm just curious what ones that leaves as possible selections.
    Allobarbital

    Alphenal

    Amobarbital

    Aprobarbital

    Brallobarbital

    Butobarbital

    Butalbital

    Cyclobarbital

    Methylphenobarbital

    Mephobarbital

    Methohexital

    Phenobarbital

    Secobarbital

    Talbutal

    Thiamylal
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Frequent Poster stixfix69's Avatar
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    A bullet is cheaper than any drug sold........

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    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    Would it be impractical for death-penalty states (and the federal government for that matter) to pool their resources to form a sort of consortium to manufacture their own lethal-injection drugs--thereby getting around the problem of private companies that are squeamish about their drugs being used for capital punishment?

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    Administrator Michael's Avatar
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    I´m sure the antis would put the screws on the companies who would like to sell the equipment (and more important) the base materials to the state consortium.

    The easiest way would be to go back to the firing squad - it´s tested since decades, easy in use and the bullets are available in nearly every town. Also it´s not likely that the producers of guns and bullets have any problem that their goods are used during an execution.
    No murder can be so cruel that there are not still useful imbeciles who do gloss over the murderer and apologize.

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