The Supreme Court has lifted a stay, leading to the execution of an Arizona inmate who questioned the state's source of sodium thiopental to be used in his lethal injection. The state had refused to name the source of the drug.
Press reports have identified Archimedes Pharma UK as the source. It's listed as the only licensed manufacturer of the drug in Great Britain, reports The Guardian.
Archimedes denied it had exported the drug itself and denied knowingly providing it for the lethal injection. The company said it has no control over how the drug is used after being sold to medical suppliers.
U.S. supplies of the anesthetic, made solely by Hospira, had been interrupted due to manufacturing problems. Attorneys for the condemned man argued that since the drug must have a come from a foreign source and outside of FDA's regulatory reach, it might be ineffective. And if the anesthetic failed, the prisoner would suffer cruel and unusual punishment when given the remaining two drugs of the three-drug lethal injection.
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