August 30, 2015
|21||OH||Jeffery Wogenstahl – STAYED^|
|23||OH||Alva Campbell – STAYED^|
|20||OH||Cleveland R. Jackson|
|19||OH||Robert Van Hook|
August 19, 2015
A letter from the FDA warned the state that importing the drug would break the law.
The state of Ohio planned to illegally import sodium thiopental, a drug used for executions, according to a Food and Drug Administration letter obtained byBuzzFeed through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The June letter says that Ohio planned to “obtain bulk and finished dosage forms of sodium thiopental.” Since the drug is not available in the US, wrote Domenic Veneziano, director of the FDA’s import operation, “we assume this product would be purchased from an oversees source.”
Veneziano reminded Ohio Director of Rehabilitation and Correction Gary C. Mohr that“there is no FDA approved application for sodium thiopental, and it is illegal to import an unapproved new drug into the United States.”
According to BuzzFeed:
The prison Ohio carries out executions in registered for a DEA license to import the drug last year for a “law enforcement purpose,” but until now it was unknown if the state actually intended to use the license.
Ohio, like many other death penalty states, shrouds its execution drug suppliers in secrecy. States argue the secrecy protects their suppliers from intimidation and embarrassment, while death row inmates and open government advocates argue it removes an important check on state power.
When Nebraska received a similar letter from the FDA last year, it came out that the state paid an Indian dealer named Chris Harris more than $50,000 for enough sodium thiopental to execute hundreds of prisoners. (Nebraska has since abolished the death penalty completely.)
BuzzFeed followed up with Ohio corrections department to find out if Harris was the planned supplier for Ohio as well.
When approached by BuzzFeed News about Harris in June, Ohio DRC spokesperson JoEllen Smith said the department’s legal division would have to handle the matter. After spending weeks on the request, she only would say that Ohio had not communicated with Harris’s company, Harris Pharma, but did not specifically answer the question of if the state had purchased from him directly or indirectly. Smith did not respond to follow up questions.
Ohio’s last execution took place in January 2014, when the state gave inmateDennis McGuire 10 milligrams of midazolam, a controversial sedative whose use for lethal injections the Supreme Court recently upheld. Ohio plans a new series of executions beginning in 2016.
Many reputable drug manufacturers don’t want to be associated with the death penalty, much less the botched executions that have prevailed of late. The FDA-approved manufacturer of sodium thiopental stopped making the drug in 2011 so that it couldn’t be used for this purpose. When Missouri announced plans to use propofol, the drug found in Michael Jackson’s body at the time of his death, for executions, its German manufacturer expressed displeasure and threatened to get the European Union to stop exporting it the US completely. Many states are now struggling to find the drugs they need for executions.
This fact is compounded in Ohio, whose governor, Republican presidential candidate John Kasich, signed a “secret executions” bill this winter that exempts anyone participating in a lethal injection from public records requests. Under the law, medical and nonmedical staff, companies transporting or preparing supplies or equipment used in executions, and providers of the drugs used in lethal injections are all protected from public records requests and do not need to reveal their identity or duties.
UPTADE AUGUST 29, 2015
|13||TX||Tracy Beatty – STAYED|
|18||TN||David Miller – STAYED|
|26||TX||Bernardo Tercero (foreign national) STAYED|
|27||MS||Richard Jordan (date requested by Atty. Gen.; not final) EXECUTION HALTED|
|27||PA||Maurice Patterson – STAY LIKELY|
|28||PA||Hector Morales- STAY LIKELY|
|1||MO||Roderick Nunley EXECUTED 9:09 PM|
|2||TX||Joe Garza STAYED|
|3||PA||Herbert Blakeney- STAY LIKELY|
|17||OH||Angelo Fears – STAYED*|
|17||OH||William Montgomery – STAYED^|
|6||TN||Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman – STAYED|
|17||OH||Cleveland R. Jackson – STAYED*|
|17||OH||Robert Van Hook – STAYED^|
|17||TN||Nicholas Sutton – STAYED|
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Texas inmate Daniel Lee Lopez got his wish Wednesday when he was executed for striking and killing a police lieutenant with an SUV during a chase more than six years ago.
The lethal injection was carried out after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from his attorneys who disregarded both his desire to die and lower court rulings that Lopez was competent to make that decision.
“I hope this execution helps my family and also the victim’s family,” said Lopez, who spoke quietly and quickly. “This was never meant to be, sure beyond my power. I can only walk the path before me and make the best of it. I’m sorry for putting you all through this. I am sorry. I love you. I am ready. May we all go to heaven.”
As the drugs took effect, he took two deep breaths, then two shallower breaths. Then all movement stopped.
He was pronounced dead at 6:31 p.m. CDT — 15 minutes after the lethal dose began.
Lopez, 27, became the 10th inmate put to death this year in Texas, which carries out capital punishment more than any other state. Nationally, he was the 19th prisoner to be executed.
Lopez’s “obvious and severe mental illness” was responsible for him wanting to use the legal system for suicide, illustrating his “well-documented history of irrational behavior and suicidal tendencies,” attorney David Dow, who represented Lopez, had told the high court. Dow also argued the March 2009 crime was not a capital murder because Lopez didn’t intend to kill Corpus Christi Lt. Stuart Alexander.
The officer’s widow, Vicky Alexander, and three friends who were witnesses with her prayed in the chamber before Lopez was pronounced dead by a doctor. Some people selected by Lopez as witnesses sang “Amazing Grace” from an adjacent witness area.
Alexander, 47, was standing in a grassy area on the side of a highway where he had put spike strips when he was struck by the sport utility vehicle Lopez was fleeing in.
Lopez, who also wrote letters to a federal judge and pleaded for his execution to move forward, said last week from death row that a Supreme Court reprieve would be “disappointing.”
“I’ve accepted my fate,” he said. “I’m just ready to move on.”
Nueces County District Attorney Mark Skurka said Lopez showed “no regard for human life” when he fought with an officer during a traffic stop, then sped away, evading pursuing officers and striking Alexander, who had been on the police force for 20 years. Even when he finally was cornered by police cars, Lopez tried ramming his SUV to escape and didn’t stop until he was shot.
“He had no moral scruples, no nothing. It was always about Daniel Lopez, and it’s still about Daniel Lopez,” Skurka said Tuesday. “He’s a bad, bad guy.”
Lopez was properly examined by a psychologist, testified at a federal court hearing about his desire to drop appeals and was found to have no mental defects, state attorneys said in opposing delays to the punishment.
Deputies found a dozen packets of cocaine and a small scale in a false compartment in the console of the SUV.
Records showed Lopez was on probation at the time after pleading guilty to indecency with a child in Galveston County and was a registered sex offender. He had other arrests for assault.
Testimony at his trial showed he had at least five children by three women, and a sixth was born while he was jailed for Alexander’s death. Court records show Lopez had sex with girls as young as 14 and had a history of assaults and other trouble while in school, where he was a 10th-grade dropout.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Texas inmate Daniel Lee Lopez has been trying to speed up his execution since being sent to death row five years ago for striking and killing a police lieutenant with an SUV during a chase.
On Wednesday, he’s hoping to get his wish.
The 27-year-old prisoner is set to die in Huntsville after getting court approval to drop his appeals. A second inmate scheduled to be executed this week in Texas, the nation’s most active death penalty state, won a court reprieve Tuesday.
Lopez is facing lethal injection for the 2009 death of Corpus Christi Lt. Stuart Alexander. The 47-year-old officer was standing in a grassy area on the side of a highway where he had put spike strips when he was struck by the sport utility vehicle Lopez was fleeing in.
Last week from death row Lopez said: “It’s a waste of time just sitting here. I just feel I need to get over with it.”
Attorneys representing Lopez refused to accept his intentions, questioning federal court findings that Lopez was mentally competent to volunteer for execution. They appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the punishment, arguing his crime was not a capital murder because he didn’t intend to kill the officer, and that Lopez had mental disabilities and was using the state to carry out long-standing desires to commit suicide.
“It is clear Lopez has been allowed to use the legal system in another attempt to take his own life,” attorney David Dow told the high court.
Lopez, who also wrote letters to a federal judge and pleaded for his execution to move forward, said a Supreme Court reprieve would be “disappointing.”
“It’s crazy they keep appealing, appealing,” he said last week of his lawyers’ efforts. “I’ve explained it to them many times. I guess they want to get paid for appealing.”
Lopez was properly examined by a psychologist, testified at a federal court hearing about his desire to drop appeals and was found to have no mental defects, state attorneys said in opposing delays in the punishment.
Alexander had been a police officer for 20 years. His death came during a chase that began just past midnight on March 11, 2009, after Lopez was pulled over by another officer for running a stop sign in a Corpus Christi neighborhood. Authorities say Lopez was driving around 60 mph.
Lopez struggled with the officer who made the stop and then fled. He rammed several patrol cars, drove at a high speed with his lights off and hit Alexander like “a bullet and a target,” said an officer who testified at Lopez’s 2010 trial.
When finally cornered by patrol cars, Lopez used his SUV as a battering ram trying to escape and wasn’t brought under control until he was shot, officers testified.
“It’s a horrible dream,” Lopez said from death row. “I’ve replayed it in my mind many times.”
Deputies found a dozen packets of cocaine and a small scale in a false compartment in the console of the SUV.
Records show Lopez was on probation at the time after pleading guilty to indecency with a child in Galveston County and was a registered sex offender. He had other arrests for assault.
Lopez would be the 10th inmate executed this year in Texas. Nationally, 18 prisoners have been put to death this year, with Texas accounting for 50 percent of them.
On Tuesday, another death row prisoner, Tracy Beatty, 54, received a reprieve from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. He had been scheduled for lethal injection Thursday. He’s on death row for the 2003 slaying of his 62-year-old mother, Carolyn Click, near Tyler in East Texas.
At least seven other Texas inmates have execution dates in the coming months.
|Daniel Lee Lopez|
Monday, July 13, 2015