Arizona: Execution Drugs Came From Great Britain

Arizona’s Attorney General Terry Goddard has reportedly confirmed that his state’s stash of non-FDA approved sodium thiopental came from Great Britain.  The state continues to try to kill Jeffrey Landrigan with this drug, and continues to try to keep details of their supplier a secret, using a law that shields the Arizona’s execution team from public scrutiny.  So an as yet unnamed British pharmaceutical company is now a member of Arizona’s execution team. 

As our allies in Europe are dragged into this sordid execution mess, Arizona soldiers on with its attempt to carry out this execution (in defiance of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights).  The full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court are likely to weigh in later today.

But whatever the outcome, two important points are worth mentioning.  First, many people are now ashamed to be associated with the death penalty, and that includes those charged with carrying it out.  Though ostensibly for the purpose of protecting execution team members from harassment by death penalty opponents (who rarely do anything more than deliver petitions and sternly worded letters), the real purpose of the Arizona law (and similar laws in others states, and an even more extreme effort in Texas), is to drive capital punishment into the shadows.  The death penalty is not as popular as it used to be, because people are realizing that it involves things like states acquiring non-approved pharmaceuticals in shady and secretive ways and then using those drugs to kill people.  Of course such efforts to hide these ugly realities only draw more attention to them.

It also bears mentioning that the judge who passed the death sentence on Jeffrey Landrigan now says she was wrong.  When the US Supreme Court rejected Landrigan’s bid for a hearing on his lawyer’s failure to present important mitigating evidence, Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, asserted that the mitigating evidence would have made no difference.  The judge who was actually there has said the exact opposite – that the mitigating evidence would have made all the difference. 

Even our highest courts don’t always get things right, especially when they try to predict the future.  All supporters of fairness in our justice system, whether opposing capital punishment or not, should be disturbed by the slipshod way this case has been handled, and by the ongoing collateral damage our death penalty continues to do.

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10 thoughts on “Arizona: Execution Drugs Came From Great Britain

  1. Child Abduction Act 1984 allows a mother to abduct own child and commit forced seperation between the child and his/ her father . The mother is not commiting a crime and all are concerned with Rights of such mother , but nothing about Rights of the child.

    Why so much Human Rights for those who have committed crime and not for children who are abducted by.

    The sexist Femenist laws in UK allow a woman to abduct own child. Such act leads to stress and life long problomes for child who is forced father less. This is an abuse allowed under British law. Then they go on about Human Rights ?

    Jacob

  2. Amnesty International has ignored case of children abused by own mothers and case of children trafficked to Russia , if the abductor is a mother of child , regardless of the damage to child , child's wishes and the Rights of the father.

    Amnestry International makes no sense . It fails those in need and protects rights of convicts.

    Maybe Hitler would have been given a Villa and supported if Amensty International had its way.

    Amnesty International is more like a political wing than anything else.

    Jacob

  3. Child Abduction Act 1984 allows a mother to abduct own child and commit forced seperation between the child and his/ her father . The mother is not commiting a crime and all are concerned with Rights of such mother , but nothing about Rights of the child.

    Why so much Human Rights for those who have committed crime and not for children who are abducted by.

    The sexist Femenist laws in UK allow a woman to abduct own child. Such act leads to stress and life long problomes for child who is forced father less. This is an abuse allowed under British law. Then they go on about Human Rights ?

    Jacob

  4. Amnesty International has ignored case of children abused by own mothers and case of children trafficked to Russia , if the abductor is a mother of child , regardless of the damage to child , child’s wishes and the Rights of the father.

    Amnestry International makes no sense . It fails those in need and protects rights of convicts.

    Maybe Hitler would have been given a Villa and supported if Amensty International had its way.

    Amnesty International is more like a political wing than anything else.

    Jacob

  5. I have looked in vain for evidence that all the todo about the possibility that an imported execution drug is not "safe" is tongue-in-cheek. Safe? The drug is intended to kill him! Who cares if it might have some long-term ill effect? He ain't going to be around to notice it!

  6. I have looked in vain for evidence that all the todo about the possibility that an imported execution drug is not “safe” is tongue-in-cheek. Safe? The drug is intended to kill him! Who cares if it might have some long-term ill effect? He ain’t going to be around to notice it!

  7. Seems to me what is occuring is that the U.S. manufacturer doesn't want to be associated with the use of this drug for this execution case – for whatever reason, maybe product liability laws here in the States put those pharma companies at risk. I mean sodium pentathol (the same drug) has been in existence in this country for literally decades, and was used as an anesthesia for childbirth and other reasons. I bet this also comes down to bucks, and we have been feeding Britain quite a bit lately for their profits, ala BP.

    This man MAY have deserved a fair hearing, but it is so very sad when it is now an argument over drugs that are being used for these executions and politics that are resulting in clearly corrupting our criminal justice system. The death penalty should be reserved for those that truly commit first degree cold blooded murder, and don't know whether this was the case, but just how did this man escape from an Oklahoma facility to begin with, when he was then also involved in a stabbing while incarcerated there?

    Seems he is or was a threat to society, but was it first degree murder actually that resulted in this death sentence once again, or merely politics and a judge who admits it was his attitude at the sentencing hearing that "gave her no choice."

    And just why wasn't a jury involved in the sentencing to begin with, is what I would also like to know?

  8. Seems to me what is occuring is that the U.S. manufacturer doesn’t want to be associated with the use of this drug for this execution case – for whatever reason, maybe product liability laws here in the States put those pharma companies at risk. I mean sodium pentathol (the same drug) has been in existence in this country for literally decades, and was used as an anesthesia for childbirth and other reasons. I bet this also comes down to bucks, and we have been feeding Britain quite a bit lately for their profits, ala BP.

    This man MAY have deserved a fair hearing, but it is so very sad when it is now an argument over drugs that are being used for these executions and politics that are resulting in clearly corrupting our criminal justice system. The death penalty should be reserved for those that truly commit first degree cold blooded murder, and don’t know whether this was the case, but just how did this man escape from an Oklahoma facility to begin with, when he was then also involved in a stabbing while incarcerated there?

    Seems he is or was a threat to society, but was it first degree murder actually that resulted in this death sentence once again, or merely politics and a judge who admits it was his attitude at the sentencing hearing that “gave her no choice.”

    And just why wasn’t a jury involved in the sentencing to begin with, is what I would also like to know?

  9. What a question.

    Was he a "threat to society" ?

    The question should rather be —

    Is this racist, cop – ridden, walled & gated class society we are shackled into a threat to ALL of US — the poor, & the once & nevermore middle class ?

  10. What a question.

    Was he a “threat to society” ?

    The question should rather be —

    Is this racist, cop – ridden, walled & gated class society we are shackled into a threat to ALL of US — the poor, & the once & nevermore middle class ?