FEATURED POST

America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

Image
With Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, the national fight to abolish capital punishment will have to go local.
When the Supreme Court revived capital punishment in 1976, just four years after de facto abolishing it, the justices effectively took ownership of the American death penalty and all its outcomes. They have spent the decades since then setting its legal and constitutional parameters, supervising its general implementation, sanctioning its use in specific cases, and brushing aside concerns about its many flaws.
That unusual role in the American legal system is about to change. With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the court this summer, the Supreme Court will lose a heterodox jurist whose willingness to cross ideological divides made him the deciding factor in many legal battles. In cases involving the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, his judgment often meant the difference between life and death for hundreds of death-row pr…

Nevada receives no bids from companies to supply lethal-injection drugs

Midazolam
Nevada approved spending $858,000 to build a new execution chamber; the space will be used for storage and as an attorney-inmate meeting area if no executions are scheduled.

Nevada prison officials said Friday the state will have to explore its options to carry out executions after it received no bids from pharmaceutical companies to supply drugs for lethal injections.

The state issued 247 requests for proposals on Sept. 2 after its stockpile of at least 1 drug used in executions had expired. Not one response was received.

"We are confident the Purchasing Division solicited thoroughly for vendors," James Dzurenda, director of the Nevada Department of Corrections, said in a statement.

"Now we will work closely with the attorney general, the governor and the Legislature to examine our options and decide the best course of action moving forward."

Dzurenda in August told the state Board of Prison Commissioners chaired by Gov. Brian Sandoval that 1 of 2 drugs needed to execute a condemned inmate by lethal injection has expired and the drug company Pfizer refused to provide more supplies.

Nevada has used the drugs midazolam and hydromorphone to administer a lethal injection. Both are manufactured by Pfizer.

"Pfizer makes its products to enhance and save the lives of the patients we serve," the company said in a statement issued earlier this year. "Consistent with these values, Pfizer strongly objects to the use of its products as lethal injections for capital punishment."

The Nevada Legislature in the 2015 session approved spending $858,000 to build a new execution chamber at Ely State Prison, to replace the chamber in the now-closed Nevada State Prison in Carson City.

Officials have said that project is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 1 and the space will be used for storage and as an attorney-inmate meeting area if no executions are scheduled to go forward.

There are 81 inmates on Nevada's death row. No executions are on the immediate horizon. Without the supply of drugs, they could not be carried out even if one is ordered.

Under state law, Nevada is required to use lethal injection for executions. Changing the method Nevada uses to carry out executions would require approval by the state Legislature.

It's unknown what "options" Nevada officials might consider if drugs cannot be found.

Nevada is not alone in its inability to acquire drugs used to kill condemned inmates. In a recent article, Jennifer Horne with the Council of State Governments said dozens of states face the same dilemma. Some states are changing their protocols to use different drugs and some are trying to obtain drugs from foreign suppliers.

"Many states will have to change their method of execution, which means regulatory changes that have to be approved and lengthy court challenges," Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, told Horne. "In many states, this could take months, if not years, delaying executions."

The last execution occurred at the Nevada State Prison on April 26, 2006, when Daryl Mack was put to death. Mack was executed for the rape and murder of a Reno woman, Betty Jane May, in 1988.

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal, October 7, 2016

⚑ | Report an error, an omission; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; send a submission; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Texas: With a man's execution days away, his victims react with fury or forgiveness

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles rejects clemency for Chris Young

Texas executes Christopher Young

Ohio executes Robert Van Hook

The Aum Shinrikyo Executions: Why Now?

Execution date pushed back for Texas 7 escapee after paperwork error on death warrant

20 Minutes to Death: Record of the Last Execution in France

Indonesia: Gay couple publicly whipped after vigilante mob drags them out of beauty salon

Fentanyl And The Death Penalty

Saudi Arabia executes seven people in one day