The Latest: Arizona to add new drug cocktail for executions
The latest developments on a shipment of a drug used in executions that Texas and Arizona are trying to import (Central time):
Arizona is adding another drug combination to its execution protocols as the federal government continues withholding a drug shipment that the state Department of Corrections was supposed to receive in July.
The state also says it’s asking a federal court to end a stay on a lawsuit filed by a group of death row inmates seeking more information about execution drugs and manufacturers.
Both parties in the suit agreed to put it on hold last November, and Arizona can’t seek any death warrants until it’s resolved.
The state says it plans on contesting an FDA decision to seize a shipment of sodium thiopental, a sedative used in executions that’s not allowed in the U.S. The feds stopped the shipment at the Phoenix airport in July, saying it was illegal.
Federal authorities say they’ve detained and are holding a shipment of sodium thiopental that Texas and Arizona corrections agencies have attempted to import to possibly use for executions.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday that courts have ruled the drug is not approved for use in humans and can’t be imported into the country for that purpose.
Death penalty states have been struggling to find drugs for lethal injections.
FDA spokesman Jeff Ventura says his agency has notified Texas and Arizona about the sodium thiopental.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials say they legally obtained a federal import license. The nation’s most active death penalty state has used sodium thiopental in the past but has been using the sedative pentobarbital for several years for executions.