Thursday, October 21, 2010
Death row inmate Jeffrey Landrigan is scheduled to be executed by the State of Arizona on Tuesday, the state's first execution since Robert Comer was executed in May of 2007. While it appears the last-minute appeal process will unlikely lead to a stay of execution for Landrigan, an interesting discussion broke out over where the drugs that will be used will actually come from. Sodium thiopental, a barbiturate used as part of the lethal injection drug combination, hasn't been produced in the United States since 2009, which has led to delays in executions nationwide as a source for the drug hasn't been secured. When the warrant for Landrigan's execution was scheduled, the question arose of where the sodium thiopental had been obtained. Landrigan's attorneys attempted to force the state to disclose where they had purchased the drugs, questioning whether they could be purchased without violating FDA regulations, while the state's representative cited a state law which protects the identity of executioners as reason not to provide the source of the necessary drugs, with Assistant Arizona Attorney General Kent Cattani telling the Arizona Republic, "We think the department has lawfully obtained the drug."
Yesterday, the Arizona Supreme Court sided with the state, with Judge Andrew Hurwitz seemingly dismissing the concerns by noting that the drugs are, in the end, intended to kill someone.