Horne: Lethal Injection Lawsuit Is Frivolous

Phoenix (Friday, February 4, 2011) - Attorney General Tom Horne responded today to a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia by several Arizona inmates against the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in which the inmates have asked the court to order the FDA to deny importation of drugs used for executions and to recall drugs already acquired from other countries.  Arizona carried out the execution of inmate Jeffrey Landrigan in October using drugs obtained from England and intends to use drugs from the same supplier in upcoming executions.  The FDA has indicated that regulating drugs used in executions is not within the scope of their authority.

Horne stated: “This lawsuit, filed by the Federal Public Defenders Office, is a frivolous use of tax dollars.  Lethal injection is considered the most humane method of carrying out an execution, and the protocol that the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) follows has been upheld by the courts as providing more than adequate protections to ensure that the execution will be carried out properly and without unnecessary suffering.’

‘Because United States suppliers no longer manufacture the first drug used in the execution protocol, ADC was forced to look elsewhere for the drug and purchased it from a supplier in England.  There is no evidence that drugs manufactured in England are inferior or are somehow unsafe, and the execution of inmate Landrigan was carried out without incident.  It is absurd to suggest that the FDA should be ordered to recall drugs obtained from England or to deny further importation of drugs for use in carrying out executions.”