Arkansas might find it difficult to acquire and use drugs normally used to treat patients for minor procedures and surgeries to carry out any more executions in 2017. The state has so far executed three men -- Ledell Lee, April 20 and Jack Jones and Marcel Williams, April 24 -- using a three-drug protocol. The final execution is scheduled April 27.
Some states have chosen other methods of acquiring drugs for lethal injections. Some get their drugs compounded while other states are trying to buy the drugs from other countries.
Since 2015 Arkansas law protects the state from identifying the manufacturer and distributor of the drugs, but court challenges and lawsuits have brought the drug company names to light. All companies involved in creating and selling the drugs have said they don’t want their products used in executions.
The state’s three-drug protocol is:
“If the State of Arkansas was able to procure any of our U.S.-manufactured drugs for use in lethal injections despite these controls — which it will not confirm or deny to us — it was not directly from us, nor with our knowledge,” Brooke Clarke, spokeswoman of Hikma Pharmaceuticals, the parent company of West-Ward.
The state’s supply of midazolam is set to expire April 30.
The Death Penalty Information Center said this lawsuit was the first time a company directly asked the court to stop its drugs from being used.
West-Ward Pharmaceuticals and Fresenius Kabi USA also have said they don’t want their products used in executions and filed an amicus brief in federal court to ask U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to block the state from using their drugs. Baker’s ruling did call into question the use of West-Ward’s midazolam in executions after issues have occurred in other states. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Baker’s ruling.
Please read our Comments Policy before posting.Article comments powered by Disqus