Eric Holder: End Secrecy Surrounding Execution Drugs

Image: Eric Holder: End Secrecy Surrounding Execution Drugs US Attorney General Eric Holder. (Saul Loeb/Getty Images)

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 07:58 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is calling on states to be more transparent about the drug cocktails used in executions in the wake of a series of botched lethal injections that have renewed a national debate over the death penalty.

States that impose capital punishment have turned to new suppliers of chemical combinations for lethal injections after European drug makers objected to having their products used for that purpose.

Since then, a number of death row inmates have argued that untested drugs of questionable quality could cause undo harm and suffering in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

A group of death row prisoners sued Arizona in June, saying the secrecy surrounding the drugs used in other failed executions in Ohio and Oklahoma violated constitutional rights.

"There may not be a legal requirement for transparency and talking about, describing the drugs that are used," Holder told PBS NewsHour in a wide-ranging interview on Thursday. "But you sometimes have to go beyond that which is legally required to do something that is right."

"For the state to exercise that greatest of all powers, to end a human life, it seems to me, just on a personal level, that transparency would be a good thing, and to share the information about what chemicals are being used, what drugs are being used," he said, according to a transcript.

After a bungled execution in Oklahoma in which a convicted killer writhed in pain as a needle became dislodged, President Barack Obama asked Holder's Justice Department to look into the situation, which he called "deeply troubling."

Holder, who says he is personally against the death penalty, told PBS that officials with his Civil Rights Division and Criminal Division were looking at the recent state-level complications as well as the U.S. government's protocol even though there has not been a federal execution since 2003.

In Arizona last week, executioners had to administer at least two full doses of a two-drug lethal injection cocktail to a convicted double murderer who gasped and struggled for breath for more than 90 minutes before he finally succumbed.

A death row in Ohio inmate took 25 minutes to die and reportedly convulsed and gasped for breath in January after he was injected with a deadly sedative-painkiller mix of midazolam and hydromorphone, the first such combination used for a lethal injection in the United States.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Sheriffs in Southwest: The Border Is 'Spiraling Out of Control'

Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 22:04 PM

Describing the immigration crisis as "spiraling out of control," a coalition of five sheriffs' organizations in the Sout . . .

Alan Colmes, Dennis Kucinich: Would Not Have Bombed ISIS

Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 21:10 PM

Liberal pundit Alan Colmes and former Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich caught the ire of Fox News Channel host Bill O'Rei . . .

Poll: Most Americans Want Strong US Global Leadership

Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 20:47 PM

Most Americans want the United States to be an active player on the global stage, even after more than a decade of wars  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved