Graduation rates for high school students in urban areas have plummeted, and the Supreme Court brought back lethal injection!
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BY LINDSEY WOLF
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Six death row inmates from Arizona, California and Tennessee are suing the FDA for allowing states to import an execution drug without agency approval. Sodium thiopental is the first of three drugs injected into a condemned prisoner- it’s an anesthetic that eliminates pain.
The Wall Street Journal reports the company Hospira was the only U.S. manufacturer of the drug - but it’s halting production. Italian officials shut down the company’s facility outside Milan because Italy doesn’t support the death penalty.
“Hospira tried to figure out a way that it could block the distribution of its drugs to U.S. prisons and decided there was no way to do that so it decided, ‘we’re just going to exit the market.’”
Since then, states have had to find it elsewhere – including overseas. Law requires the FDA to ensure only safe, effective drugs are imported into the US, but according to The Tennessean, the FDA decided to…
“...exercise ‘enforcement discretion’ regarding sodium thiopental imports for execution and allow them to enter the country with little more than a caveat that FDA has not examined the quality of the drug.”
But the FDA wants to stay out of the execution-drug market, releasing a statement saying...
“Reviewing substances imported or used for the purpose of state-authorized lethal injection clearly falls outside of FDA’s explicit public health role … FDA does not verify the identity, potency, safety, or effectiveness of substances imported for this purpose.”
But James Clark from Change**** claims- without FDA approval, there’s no way to be sure the drug is safe to use.
“If the drugs are contaminated or handled improperly, they could become ineffective, leading to a torturous execution that the Supreme Court has ruled would be unconstitutional...”
In an editorial for The Daily Herald Vincent Jack wonders- why can’t another U.S. company make the drug?
“Come on, give me a break! Surely another drug company can make this drug. Don't tell me that given a whole year's advanced knowledge of a growing shortage didn't send up some red flags somewhere in the medical/legal continuum. How could the Federal Bureau of Prisons fall asleep at the helm on this issue?”
The last doses of thiopental made in the U.S. will reach expiration this spring. Some states have worked around the issue- substituting thiopental with pentobarbital- a drug normally used to euthanize animals.
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BY JENNIFER MECKLES
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“... What it does, generally is disassociate and turn the brain off form any feeling and subsequently, what that does is stop the heart.” (eHow)
That’s a veterinarian talking about pentobarbital -- a drug normally used to put dogs down. But now that same drug has been used in the lethal injection of a human.
“Today the state of Ohio will execute murderer Johnnie Baston using a stand-alone drug for the first time. The surgical sedative pentobarbital is sometimes used in assisted suicides. Usually executions are done using a combination of drugs. (KGCT)
Baston was convicted in the 1994 murder of a Toledo, Ohio store owner. Once injected, it took more than 10 minutes until he was dead -- making him the first death row case where the drug was used alone -- not as part of a lethal drug cocktail mix.
So why -- of all things -- a drug meant for animals? The US is seeing a shortage of another drug -- the one most commonly used in lethal injections, called sodium thiopental. Its an ITALIAN product, and the only US company that makes it - decided to halt production. The Washington Post explains why:
“The decision... was prompted by demands from Italy, which does not have capital punishment, that sodium thiopental - which the company had planned to make at its plant outside Milan - not be used for executions.”
So capital punishment states needed a new plan -- and for Ohio, the surgical sedative pentobarbital was the answer. But the New York Times predicts the new drug will run into the same problems as the old drug:
“The drug is available only from one company operating in the United States, Lundbeck Inc., based in Denmark, a country that also opposes the death penalty. Last month, Lundbeck asked Oklahoma and Ohio not to use the drug in executions.”
Other states, like Oklahoma, have also used the pentobarbital for capital punishment -- but in combination with other lethal drugs. KOKI’s segment “the rant” wonders if this is really the best option.
“Oklahoma has already used pentobarbital in three executions... it is ironic that a drug used on animals is considered the most humane way to fulfill justice. But when you look at the animalistic acts committed by many of those on death row, strangely it seems ... fitting. And, brutally honest.”
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BY IRIS ZHANG
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Time is running out for Troy Davis. The inmate is scheduled to receive a lethal injection on Wednesday, Sept. 21, for the 1989 murder of a Georgia police officer. MSNBC looks into the controversy behind the case.
“Seven of the nine witnesses who testified against him have recanted their statements. One of those witnesses said quote ‘the truth is that troy never confessed to me or talked to me about the shooting of the police officer.’”
Davis’s future is now in the hands of Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. The board’s five members will make the final decision on Monday. Here’s CNN.
“That same board failed to grant Davis clemency in this case back in 2008, but what we are looking at now, though, there are three new members on that board, and their votes could be enough to either delay or stop this execution.”
Thousands of people have joined protests and rallies, seeking to convince officials that they’ve got the wrong man. Al Jazeera reports.
“Advocates for Davis not only argue that there is ‘too much doubt’ to allow his execution, but they also say his case exemplifies a fundamental problem with the United States' use of capital punishment. Because he has been convicted, Davis is no longer considered innocent until proven guilty, but guilty until proven otherwise.”
Right now, more than 3,200 people are on death row in the United States. The New York Times looks into why the Davis case is center stage of the national debate.
“The answer...can be found in an amalgam of changing death penalty politics, concerns about cracks in the judicial system, the swift power of digital political organizing and, simply, a story with a strong narrative that caught the public’s attention.”
This is the fourth time in four years Davis’s execution date has been set.
David Crowe is scheduled to be executed this week. Lindsay's in Georgia to cover the story, and we want you to tell her how to do it.
MobLogic wants to know if the people of Georgia know about the execution we're in town to cover.
Up close and personal with Lindsay on her way to cover an execution in Georgia.
Lindsay asks Georgians in Atlanta whether or not they support the death penalty.
Lindsay reflects on her conversation with David McDade, District Attorney of Douglas County.
David McDade, the District Attorney for Douglas County, GA, breaks down the crime, and speaks up for murder victim Joseph Pala.
Georgia District Attorney David McDade breaks down the death penalty for Lindsay from the prosecutor's side of the table.
Lindsay updates the audience about a sudden turn of events in the David Crowe case.