COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio’s most recent batches of lethal injection drugs were produced by a company that wants states to stop using them for capital punishment, records show.
Lake Forest, Ill.-based Hospira Inc. says it manufactures the drugs, the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone, to enhance and save the lives of patients it helps treat. The company says it objects to their use in capital punishment.
Hospira’s position adds to the state’s difficulties obtaining drugs to put condemned inmates to death at a time when several other states, including Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, face similar challenges obtaining drugs.
Other drug makers have prohibited the use of their drugs in executions, and states are running out of options.
Ohio purchased the Hospira-made drugs in 2012 and 2013 from San Francisco-based drug distributor McKesson, according to invoices and packing slips obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request.
The two drugs are required by Ohio’s execution policy. Their first use, in the prolonged execution last month of a pregnant woman’s condemned killer, sparked calls for a moratorium on capital punishment.
Despite its opposition, Hospira also says there’s only so much it can do, given what it calls “the complex supply chain and the gray market” of U.S. drug distribution. It says it can’t guarantee a U.S. prison could not obtain restricted products outside of the normal distribution process.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction declined to comment.
Condemned inmate Dennis McGuire, 53, made gasp-like snoring sounds for several minutes during his 26-minute execution on Jan. 16, the longest since Ohio resumed putting inmates to death in 1999. He appeared unconscious while making those sounds.
His family has sued Ohio, alleging the use of the drugs led to a death that was cruel and inhuman. The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is preparing a report on his execution. Gov. John Kasich delayed an execution scheduled for March until the fall to allow time for the report to be completed.
After McGuire’s execution, Louisiana announced it was switching to the same two drugs. Records obtained by the AP showed Ohio faxed a copy of its execution policies, including the use of the two drugs, to the head of Louisiana’s prisons agency on Jan. 27.
Florida uses midazolam as the first of three drugs. The agency won’t say where it gets the drug.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- A preseason guide to avoid holiday weight gain
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck