Texas Should Not Have Executed Robert Pruett

Update: Robert Pruett was executed by lethal injection on Thursday.
Robert Pruett is scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas Thursday. He has never had a chance to live outside a prison as an adult. Taking his life is a senseless wrong that shows how badly the justice system fails juveniles.
Mr. Pruett was 15 years old when he last saw the outside world, after being arrested as an accomplice to a murder committed by his own father. Now 38, having been convicted of a murder while incarcerated, he will be put to death. At a time when the Supreme Court has begun to recognize excessive punishments for juveniles as unjust, Mr. Pruett’s case shows how young lives can be destroyed by a justice system that refuses to give second chances.
Mr. Pruett’s father, Sam Pruett, spent much of Mr. Pruett’s early childhood in prison. Mr. Pruett and his three siblings were raised in various trailer parks by his mother, who he has said used drugs heavily and often struggled to feed the children. Wh…

Lundbeck Urged to Do More to Stop Drug’s Use in U.S. Executions

Doctors who’ve prescribed medicines produced by H. Lundbeck A/S urged the Danish drugmaker to make more of an effort to stop the use of one of its treatments in executing U.S. prisoners facing the death penalty.

“We are appalled at the inaction of Lundbeck to prevent the supply of their drug, Nembutal,” doctors from the U.K., Saudi Arabia, Denmark, India and the U.S. said in the June 18 issue of Lancet. Nembutal, also known as pentobarbital, “is rapidly proving to be the drug of choice for U.S. executions,” 5 doctors, writing on behalf of another 58 physicians, wrote in the medical journal.

The drug, first approved in 1939, is used to treat seizures and euthanize animals. U.S. states, starting with Oklahoma in December, have begun administering the sedative to execute prisoners after facing a shortage of sodium thiopental. That drug’s manufacturer, Hospira Inc., stopped production after authorities in Italy, where manufacturing is located, asked for a guarantee it wouldn’t be used in executions. Italy doesn’t have the death penalty.

Writing in the Lancet, the doctors, led by David Nicholl, a U.K. neurologist, said Lundbeck should adopt measures similar to those it uses to control distribution of 2 other drugs, Sabril and Xenazine, for health reasons. Sabril is also used to treat seizures, while doctors prescribe Xenazine for patients with Huntington’s disease.

U.S. Prisons

Lundbeck, which has said it opposes the death penalty, sells 50 million doses of Nembutal a year in the U.S. It has hired advisers to draw up a plan by September to make it more difficult for U.S. prisons to buy Nembutal, the Copenhagen-based company said today.

Lundbeck may also take measures before September, spokesman Anders Schroll said. “There might be specific distribution controls that we could implement earlier,” he said by phone.

Lundbeck acquired Nembutal when it took over Deerfield, Illinois-based Ovation Pharmaceuticals Inc. in 2009.

Organizations opposing the death penalty, including Reprieve, have criticized the company for not doing more to stop the drug’s use in executions.

“If Lundbeck puts in tough controls, it would have very wide ramifications,” Maya Foa, an investigator with Reprieve, said by phone today.

Source: Bloomberg News, June 17, 2011

Related articles:
Jun 15, 2011
"The death toll is increasing at an alarming rate for Lundbeck; the sooner they put in place controls on the distribution of the drug, the better. Rigorous and committed action on the part of the Danish pharmaceutical company may not be ...
Jun 06, 2011
During the meeting, Lundbeck's CEO, Ulf Wiinberg, told Ms Foa that the company has reconsidered its position - which Reprieve has said from the beginning was untenable. Mr Wiinberg now acknowledges that there are steps...
Jun 07, 2011
Yet again, Lundbeck fails to bring concrete answers to pull out of the trade death soon enough as it has become a master at anesthetizing us all and at killing so many. The hiring of “external consultants to assess the ...
May 14, 2011
On behalf of capital defence lawyers in Alabama, legal action charity Reprieve had asked the company to submit an 'amicus curiae' brief to Alabama's Supreme Court, voicing opposition to the use of Lundbeck-produced ...
Use the tags below or the search engine at the top of this page to find updates, older or related articles on this Website.


Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Texas Should Not Have Executed Robert Pruett

Texas: Montgomery County DA asks governor to stay Anthony Shore's execution

Texas court halts execution to review claims that co-defendant lied at trial

Texas: Houston Man Condemned in Family Murder Plot Loses High Court Appeal

Iran: Young man has hand judicially amputated over jewelry theft

Hours before execution, Tourniquet Killer granted 90-day stay at DA's request

Why Indonesia Delays Execution of Death Row Convicts

Pakistan's angel of death

Justices Won’t Review Florida Death-Penalty Cases

The Execution Dock in London was used for more than 400 years to execute pirates, smugglers & mutineers