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.

Read the rest here.