Nevada out of drug needed for executions

Taken over from LV Sun.
The Associated Press
Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011

Nevada officials are asking for access to the federal supply of one of three drugs necessary for a lethal injection.

The state doesn’t have sodium thiopental in stock and the state’s distributor is out after Hospira Inc. stopped manufacturing the drug, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Hospira decided to end production after trying to move the manufacturing to Italy. Italian officials objected because the drug is used in executions, the company said in a statement.

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto joined 11 other attorney generals in asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for federal help in finding other sources of the drug, which could include sharing the federal supply.

“Many jurisdictions shortly will be unable to perform executions in cases where appeals have been exhausted and governors have signed death warrants,” the letter said.

Currently, 82 inmates are housed on death row at the state prison in Ely.

Michael Pescetta, an assistant federal public defender, said no executions are imminent unless someone were to end their appeals.

Of the 11 people executed in Nevada since 1976, 10 were executed after voluntarily dropping their appeals.
Kevin Ingram, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Corrections, said the guidelines for lethal injection executions are being reviewed and could be changed. Nothing is official, however.

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Stay of Execution issued

From: Las Vegas Sun:

Another stay issued in execution of killer
By Cy Ryan (contact)

Monday, Jan. 18, 2010 | 10:54 a.m.

CARSON CITY — A stay of execution has been issued for killer Robert McConnell, who was scheduled to die Feb. 1. It is the second time McConnell was scheduled to be put to death before asking for a stay to pursue further appeals in his case.

Howard Skolnik, director of the state Department of Corrections, confirmed that the stay was signed on Friday.

McConnell had already been transferred from the maximum security prison in Ely to the Nevada State Prison in Carson City, where the death chamber is located.

He was scheduled to die in June 2005, but 39 minutes before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection he asked for a reprieve.

Read more here