Victims' relatives ready for Nebraska man's execution

Blanche Robertson
August 13, 2018

A USA judge denied German drugmaker Fresenius Kabi's motion to stop a planned lethal injection execution in Nebraska on the grounds that the state improperly obtained the company's drugs.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kopf said Friday afternoon that the drugs were purchased legally by a licensed U.S. medical distributor.

Moore is not contesting his sentence.

The drug company will file an appeal but it likely won't happen before Carey Dean Moore's execution. Kopf said granting the drug company's request would "frustrate the will of the people", referring to the 61 percent of Nebraska voters who chose to reinstate capital punishment in 2016 after lawmakers abolished it.

The company, Fresenius Kabi, alleges state officials improperly obtained the company's drugs for the execution of Moore.

Fresenius went to court late Tuesday asking the court to impound drugs manufactured by the company in the possession of the prison system.

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"There's simply no reputational harm if the state does not reveal the manufacturer of the drugs", the defendant said.

Moore is not part of this lawsuit.

But Kopf rejected the company's arguments, issuing an oral ruling from the bench saying that since Nebraska has not publicly identified the source of its execution drugs, the company's concerns were too speculative. Fresenius Kabi said it takes no position on capital punishment, but strongly opposes the use of its products for use in executions.

A brief filed in support of allowing Nebraska to use the drugs was submitted by 14 states employing lethal injection. The document claims the lawsuit is part of a "nationwide campaign being waged by anti-death penalty activists to deny States access to drugs necessary to carry out lawful executions". It goes on to list several recent examples, most unsuccessful, of companies asking their drugs not be used for the goal of ending human life.

Moore is scheduled to be executed with a combination of four drugs that have never been used together: the sedative diazepam, commonly known as Valium, to render him unconscious; fentanyl citrate, a powerful synthetic opioid; cisatracurium besylate to induce paralysis and halt his breathing; and potassium chloride to stop his heart.

A federal judge is set to decide whether Nebraska can proceed with the state's first execution since 1997 and its first-ever lethal injection.

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