Problems with lethal injection persist
There has been a flurry of activity with regard to the death penalty in Nebraska since the Nebraska Supreme Court issued a Stay of Execution for Carey Dean Moore on May 25, 2011. The Supreme Court issued the stay while it reviewed the appeal filed earlier that month after the execution date was set. One of the issues raised was whether Nebraska had illegally obtained the sodium thiopental needed to carry out the first step in the lethal injection protocol.
Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning almost immediately filed an appeal to have the stay lifted so the state could move forward with the execution. The press recently learned that Nebraska officials knew that there were serious questions with its importation of the drug since April. Additionally, the day after the stay was granted, the Attorney General and the Nebraska Department of Corrections received notice from the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency that they had, in fact, illegally obtained their supply of sodium thiopental and that it must be destroyed.
Despite this knowledge, the Attorney General continued to push for the June 14th execution date, failing to inform the Supreme Court or Moore’s lawyers of the notice from the DEA! Given these recent developments, Moore’s lawyers are working to amend their appeal to include these issues.
It is becoming clear that Nebraska officials are not giving up the fight anytime soon. They continue to seek a new source of sodium thiopental and have obtained the proper permits to import the drug from other countries. The most telling indicator that this fight is far from over came as Governor Dave Heineman expressed his frustration about the delays and declared a new determination to see the men on death row executed as swiftly as possible.
With this new mounting pressure and determination to carry out executions, we here at the NADP need your support even more! Talk to your friends about these developments. Share these articles on your Facebook page. Let us help you organize an event in your area to make people aware of the recent activity and get the discussion going. Consider donating, so we can continue this fight from all areas of the state. With your partnership we can mount an equally strong campaign against the death penalty in Nebraska!