Death Penalty

Arizona Executes Jeffrey Landrigan Despite Drug Concerns

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Arizona executed a convicted murderer Tuesday night, despite his pleas that the state was using non-FDA approved drugs to kill him.


Jeffrey Landrigan and his attorneys pointed out that a shortage of the drug anesthetic sodium thiopental has forced the state to use a non-FDA approved drug that may not work properly. They got one federal judge to believe them and issue a stay of the execution.

But on Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to lift the stay and allow the execution.

"There is no evidence in the record to suggest that the drug obtained from a foreign source is unsafe," the Supreme Court said in its ruling.

The drug apparently came from the United Kingdom, but it's still unknown which company supplied it.

The 50-year-old Landrigan argued that he could suffer great pain if the drug did not work. Pain is something he should know about it -- Landrigan was convicted of the 1989 murder of man whom he brutally strangled during an armed robbery. The robbery happened after he escaped from an Oklahoma prison, where he had been serving time for another murder.

The drug shortage has forced many lethal injections all over the country to be delayed.