DALLAS (AP) — A hearing about whether Texas officials can import a lethal injection drug will remain open to the public after the Food and Drug Administration requested in May that it be closed.
A federal judge ordered Monday to keep open the case involving the Texas Department of Criminal Justice attempting to import sodium thiopental from India in 2015, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The FDA seized the shipment of 1,000 vials of the drug, alleging it was mislabeled and unapproved for human use. Texas officials have challenged the seizure by arguing the shipment should be exempt from the FDA’s ban because of its use in law enforcement.
The lawsuit is ongoing despite the seized sodium thiopental having expired last year.
The Dallas Morning News, Buzzfeed, the Houston Chronicle and The Texas Tribune had filed a motion arguing that there’s “strong public interest in allowing access” in the case.
Texas has 225 inmates on death row and seven executions scheduled by the end of this year, according to the state’s Department of Criminal Justice. State officials also have 21 doses of drugs available for executions.
Texas currently uses pentobarbital for lethal injections but the drug has become increasingly difficult to acquire.
Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com