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November 23, 2010

Federal district judges approves Oklahoma's use of animal drug for execution

As detailed in this AFP piece, which is headlined "US court okays use of animal drug for human executions," a federal district judge yesterday "approved a drug normally used to euthanize animals for use in capital punishment in Oklahoma, clearing the way for executions held up due to shortage of a key anesthetic." Here's more:

Pentobarbital will induce a coma whose "likely outcome is the suppression of respiratory and central nervous system activity to the point that death will result within a short time after injection of the chemical," said Judge Stephen Friot of the US District Court for western Oklahoma. "The likelihood of any other outcome of the intravenous injection of 5,000 milligrams of pentobarbital is effectively nil."

A shortage of sodium thiopental -- the first and most crucial of three drugs used in lethal injections -- prompted Oklahoma to seek court approval for pentobarbital as a substitute. The only US pharmaceutical company that manufactures sodium thiopental, Hospira, is out of stock and will not be able to resume production until early 2011.

Some states like Texas have enough of the drug to press ahead with their death row schedules, but others like Kentucky have been forced to put executions on hold.

Oklahoma conducted an execution on October 14 after obtaining a dose of sodium thiopental from neighboring Arkansas. And Arizona executed a death row inmate last month after importing the anesthetic from an undisclosed foreign manufacturer authorized by the US Supreme Court.

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November 23, 2010 at 09:34 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Texas actually does not have "enough of the drug to press ahead with their death row schedules." Our supply runs out in March.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Nov 23, 2010 11:16:28 AM

hmm sounds to me like a Federal Judge has just comitted a FEDERAL CRIME since last time i looked the ONLY federal brnach authorized to approve drugs for ANY purpose was the FDA!

Posted by: rodsmith | Nov 23, 2010 12:58:21 PM

rodsmith --

For good or ill, mostly ill, we now live in an era in which federal judges can do pretty much anything they want. This would not be my choice, because it puts too much power in an unelected branch, but it's the way it is.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 23, 2010 6:15:37 PM

Death penalty with the use of animal drugs can lessen the pain or the burden of the convicted. But there are still raising eyebrows pertaining to this topic. I have to say that we have to take drastic actions towards it. Thanks a lot for the info that you have given. Even in the other state they are using it.

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Posted by: iPhone 4 insurance | Nov 23, 2010 10:36:21 PM

One federal judge approves an untested drug in record time while others take years reviewing the same issue over and over. More and more it seems Baze meant nothing and SCOTUS would have been better off just leaving it in the hands of the states and circuit courts.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Nov 24, 2010 1:23:13 AM

hmm

"rodsmith --

For good or ill, mostly ill, we now live in an era in which federal judges can do pretty much anything they want. This would not be my choice, because it puts too much power in an unelected branch, but it's the way it is."

All this means is that law enforcment is just as much a bunch of CROOKS as the judge. As they are REQUIRED to apprehend and arrest anyone dumb enough to comitt a crime in front of them. This would certainly apply.


Pity the cops in the court room didnt' have the balls when he announced his decison to walk up and slap the cuffs on him and inform him he's underarrest for violation of the law.

Posted by: rodsmith | Nov 24, 2010 9:51:03 PM

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