House Panel Requests Information on Federal Death Penalty Drugs

Washington – The House Oversight Committee urges the Justice Department to provide an answer as to whether Biden administration officials plan to procure drugs used in federal enforcement, despite the ongoing moratorium on the death penalty. doing.

The request was made late Wednesday in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland from Congressman Jamie Raskin, who chairs a subcommittee on the Panel on Citizenship and Civil Freedom, and Democratic Party Rep. Ayanna Pressley.

A few months after Garland executed an unprecedented execution during the Trump administration’s decline, it suspended federal executions and ordered a review of the procedures and policies surrounding its practices. The moratorium applies only to executions and does not prohibit prosecutors from seeking the death penalty.


Raskin and Pressley will explain to the Commission staff by December 22 the Garland-initiated review and findings, plans to resume executions, departmental policies on the death penalty, and Pentobarbital procurement plans. I want to do it. , A deadly drug used to carry out 13 federal executions in 2020.

They said information was needed after the Biden administration insisted in the Supreme Court to revive the death penalty for the convicted Boston Marathon bomber Johar Zarnaev. In more than 90 minutes of debate in October, six conservative judges in the court alleged that the Federal Court of Appeals mistakenly dismissed Tsarnaev’s death sentence because of Tsarnaev’s role in the 2013 bombing. It seemed likely that he would accept the claims of the Byden administration. line.


“Given recent action, we are concerned that the DOJ may update its efforts to obtain pentobarbital from FDA-unregulated pharmacies for use in future federal executions,” Raskin and Pressley said. Is writing. “This would be consistent with the behavior of certain states that continue to use the single agent pentobarbital in state executions.”

Pentobarbital is a barbiturate that suppresses the central nervous system and stops the heart when given at high doses. Often used by veterinarians to anesthetize or euthanize animals, it has no widespread medical use.

A mixture of drugs was used in three federal executions in the early 2000s. Sodium thiopental. It has the same effect as Pentobarbital. Pancuronium bromide that paralyzes the body; potassium chloride, a drug that induces cardiac arrest.

However, pharmaceutical companies later refused to allow these drugs to be used for the death penalty, forcing the federal government and many state governments to look for alternatives. Attorney General William Barr at the time approved a reworked execution protocol that required the use of pentobarbital only.


Last year, at least one lawyer for a prisoner sentenced to death claimed he was suffering from “extreme pain” because he was given pentobarbital.

The secret surrounded all aspects of the execution.

The Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Prisons have repeatedly refused to provide details on where the drugs were procured and how they were administered during the execution.

The Associated Press reported in February that an account provided by a prison executioner who killed 13 prisoners was in conflict with media witness reports. Prison officials likened the process of lethal injection to falling asleep, calling Gurney a “bed” and the last breath “snoring.”


These quiet explanations are from the Associated Press and other media about how prisoners’ stomachs rolled, quivered, and quivered when pentobarbital went into effect in the death room of a U.S. prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. This was in contrast to the reports by witnesses. AP witnessed all the runs.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

House Panel Requests Information on Federal Death Penalty Drugs

Source link House Panel Requests Information on Federal Death Penalty Drugs

Back to top button