Nebraska Corrections Director Says State Can't Purchase Lethal Injection Drugs Again

Judge to decide whether Nebraska execution can proceed

The federal lawsuit filed late Tuesday could delay the August 14 execution of Carey Dean Moore, who was sentenced to death for killing two Omaha cab drivers in 1979. Moore has stopped fighting the state's efforts to execute him, leaving death penalty opponents with few options to keep the process from moving forward.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf denied the company's request to temporarily block state officials from carrying out the execution of Carey Dean Moore, one of the nation's longest-serving death row inmates.

Carey Dean Moore is scheduled for execution Tuesday, the state's first since 1997.

The German group argued that it had protocols in place to prevent its drugs from being obtained by state agencies for executions, and that if Nebraska had purchased the drugmaker's injectable medicines, it had done so improperly.

Kopf says it would "frustrate" the will of the people of Nebraska and Moore to grant the restraining order.

"I will not allow the plaintiff to frustrate the wishes of Mr. Moore and the laws of the state of Nebraska", Kopf said during the hearing.

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Fresenius Kabi argues that it manufactured the state's supply of potassium chloride and possibly the cisatracurium.

Fresenius Kabi said that the state may have illegally obtained the drugs because the company opposes the use of its products in executions. In the short term, they asked for the government to "impound" the drugs in the possession of the state "until such time the merits of this dispute are finally resolved". A German pharmaceutical manufacturer sued the state this week to block prison officials from using its drugs in the lethal injection.

Fresenius Kabi said Nebraska's use of its drugs would damage its reputation and business relationships. State attorneys deny the allegation. One of the four drugs in Nebraska's lethal injection protocol expires on August 31, leaving the state unable to carry out the sentence. The company said it takes no position on capital punishment, which has been abolished in the European Union.

"Medical and pharmaceutical companies universally condemn using these drugs to execute somebody", the plaintiff said in their argument.

The state also said NDCS Director Scott Frakes contacted at least 40 potential suppliers and six other states. The company has all those who buy its drugs sign an agreement that they will not sell them to correctional institutions.

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