Georgia's supply of execution drug seized

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ATLANTA --- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on Tuesday seized Georgia's supply of a key lethal injection drug less than two months after the state executed a man who unsuccessfully argued it was bought from a "fly-by-night" supplier in England.

Agency spokesman Chuvalo Truesdell wouldn't elaborate on why the DEA wanted to inspect Georgia's supply of sodium thiopental, a sedative that is part of a three-drug cocktail used in executions that has been in short supply since the sole U.S. manufacturer stopped making it.

"We had questions about how the drug was imported to the U.S.," he said. "There were concerns."

No more execution dates in Georgia have been scheduled and it's unlikely any will be set before the issue is resolved. Georgia Attorney General's Office spokeswoman Lauren Kane said prosecutors couldn't ask a judge to set executions if corrections officials didn't have the necessary supplies to carry one out.

Georgia's stockpile of the drug has been a target of death row inmates and capital punishment critics because corrections officials released documents this year showing the state obtained the drug from Link Pharmaceuticals, a firm purchased five years ago by Archimedes Pharma Limited. Both are British firms.

The drug was used in January to execute Emmanuel Hammond, 45-year-old man convicted for the 1988 shotgun slaying of an Atlanta preschool teacher. His attorneys sought a delay to gather more information on how the state obtained the drug, claiming in court documents it came from a "fly-by-night supplier operating from the back of a driving school in England."

The U.S. Supreme Court, and lower courts, rejected Hammond's argument.

The state's stockpile came under additional scrutiny in February when John Bentivoglio, a former deputy attorney general, asked the Justice Department to investigate whether state corrections officials violated federal law by not registering with the DEA when it imported its supply of sodium thiopental.

"The United States has strict drug import rules for a reason: To ensure drugs used for legitimate purposes are not adulterated, counterfeit, or diverted into the illicit market," said Bentivoglio, who is representing death row inmate Andrew Grant DeYoung.

Joan Heath, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Corrections, said state officials were not concerned with the quality of the drug and just wanted to make sure they were complying with the law.

"We contacted the DEA and asked them for a regulatory review, and that's what we're doing," she said. "We're going to make sure we're in regulatory compliance with the DEA over how we handle controlled substances."

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Pu239
284
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Pu239 03/15/11 - 08:17 pm
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I wonder how many of these
Unpublished

I wonder how many of these fine, upstanding, death-row denizens offered their intended victims a legitimate dose of sodium thiopental before they inflicted severe trauma upon them?

usapatriot
0
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usapatriot 03/15/11 - 08:23 pm
0
0
What's the problem? It

What's the problem? It worked, right? What's DEA going to do, try it on another inmate?

Gov Deal, get a grip and tell the DEA to get the #*&% out of GA's state business.

dichotomy
36187
Points
dichotomy 03/15/11 - 08:38 pm
0
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So why would the DEA act when

So why would the DEA act when the courts have already ruled? Another out of control federal agency that is a solution looking for a problem.

The VA buys all of the drugs they feed our veterans from some backroom vendor in Canada too but the DEA doesn't seize them and inspect them nor do they even question where they come from.

realitycheck09
312
Points
realitycheck09 03/15/11 - 09:41 pm
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I think you guys miss the

I think you guys miss the point. The State of Georgia - contrary to Federal law - was getting this drug from England. The Courts refused to even hear the argument about the drug supplier (which is different from ruling on the argument's merits).

Whatever you think about the death penalty, I assume you guys would like for Georgia to follow Federal law in carrying it out, right? (We can debate the merits next time...).

And, to your question usapatriot, we don't know if that particular drug worked or not. It's a sedative. The 2nd and 3rd drugs are the lethal ones.

Dixieman
16485
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Dixieman 03/16/11 - 04:36 am
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As far as I am concerned, the

As far as I am concerned, the more painful the execution, the better.

rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 03/16/11 - 05:08 am
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The obama feds intruding into
Unpublished

The obama feds intruding into victims "living rooms" and again Uninvited. If you belong on "death row", goodbye. Who polices the fed? They are "untouchable".

jones255
0
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jones255 03/16/11 - 07:03 am
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@realitycheck09 - If the

@realitycheck09 - If the sedative had not worked, the witnesses would have been able to tell. It is a death by cardiac arrest. Anyone that has had a heart attack can tell you, it is painful.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 03/16/11 - 07:31 am
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Maybe we should just go back

Maybe we should just go back to the firing squad or hanging. But then maybe the feds would question where we got the bullets or rope. Some people are sooooo concerned about the perpetrator. Why? They weren't concerned about their victims. Maybe the perp should be put to death the same way they killed their victims. That would be the best way to do it. That might even be a true deterent.

Whats a life worth
0
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Whats a life worth 03/16/11 - 07:39 am
0
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Can you people not read, or

Can you people not read, or do you only acknowledge what fits your political (or other) agenda? READ THE ARTICLE. This is not "The Obama Feds intruding".
Joan Heath, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Corrections, said state officials were not concerned with the quality of the drug and just wanted to make sure they were complying with the law. "We contacted the DEA and asked them for a regulatory review, and that's what we're doing," she said. "We're going to make sure we're in regulatory compliance with the DEA over how we handle controlled substances."
Don't let the facts get in the way of your opinions- call Gov. Deal and tell the DEA to get the #*&% out of GA's state business. That would be an intelligent response to them trying to help you out (because you asked them to).

WW1949
19
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WW1949 03/16/11 - 08:13 am
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Who cares how they die. If

Who cares how they die. If they had murdered someone in my family I would want it to be as painful as possible.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 03/16/11 - 08:21 am
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This is a state issue. Who

This is a state issue. Who does the federal government think they are?

obama & his cronies need to go back to more golf playing, private Stevie Wonder concerts and concentrating on NCAA picks. Oh,never mind, he spent the whole weekend doing that.

What did you do this weekend while your president was partying & golfing on your dime?

onlysane1left
222
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onlysane1left 03/16/11 - 08:28 am
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Cruel and unusual punishment

Cruel and unusual punishment seems to mean nothing to anyone making the "die painfully" comments. But, if Obama or any of his "cronies" crosses a federal line, these are the first people yelling "What about the Constitution?" Yet, a drug obtained in a wrong manner for death row inmates, you all say, "well, there's no problem with that, let them just die."

ADAMS
19
Points
ADAMS 03/16/11 - 08:44 am
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Awesome!the feds just flexed

Awesome!the feds just flexed their muscle against this red state,now what u going to do about that Gov.Deal and State Attorney Olens?

realitycheck09
312
Points
realitycheck09 03/16/11 - 11:04 am
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onlysane1left - I bet that

onlysane1left - I bet that all of the people who want someone to "die painfully" consider themselves Christians. Jesus said "that which you have done to the least of me, you have done to me."

I'm not even religious and I knew that. But, religious or not, thank you for pointing out the 8th amendment. We're the only developed nation in the world that has non-wartime executions. We should be so so proud

rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 03/16/11 - 12:18 pm
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I don't recall the murderers,
Unpublished

I don't recall the murderers, rapists and child molestors checking in with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency before they commit their heinousness. Give me a break!

GaRealist
22
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GaRealist 03/16/11 - 12:51 pm
0
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"Old Sparky"

"Old Sparky" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Sparky should be taken out and dusted off. Checked by a licensed electrician for re-certification, then put back into use in our great state. Maybe then, Georgia will have a better deterrent to the heinous crimes that are committed within this state.

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