Lethal Injection

AZ Executes Inmate With Sketchy Drug

At 10:26 p.m. the state of Arizona executed Jeffrey Landrigan, hours after the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to lift a stay issued by a federal judge on his execution. At issue was how the state of Arizona obtained one of the drugs, thiopental, for his execution. Due to a nationwide shortage, it turned to a non-FDA approved source from overseas. After weeks of fighting, it revealed that the source was Great Britain, though the actual company that manufactured the drug is unknown. Lifting the stay, the Supreme Court majority wrote, "There is no evidence in the record to suggest that the drug obtained from a foreign source is unsafe. The district court granted the restraining order because it was left to speculate as to the risk of harm. But speculation cannot substitute for evidence that the use of the drug is 'sure or very likely to cause serious illness and needless suffering.'” Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Breyer dissented.