Le donazioni alla Comunità di Sant'Egidio sono fiscalmente deducibili
secondo la normativa vigente
 
Anche quest'anno è possibile destinare il 5x1000 alla Comunità di Sant'Egidio
Scrivi il numero 80191770587 nella dichiarazione dei redditi

Andrea Riccardi: sul web

Andrea Riccardi: sui social network

Andrea Riccardi: la rassegna stampa

change language
sei in: no pena di morte - news contattinewsletterlink

Sostieni la Comunità

 
14 Ottobre 2013 | STATI UNITI

USA – L'uso di farmaci non omologati nelle esecuzioni in alcuni stati potrebbe essere “crudele e disumano”. Si attendono risposte dai tribunali. (IT)

 
versione stampabile

Execution drugs mixed by U.S. pharmacies draw challenges from death row

 

By Carey Gillam

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct 13 (Reuters) - Several U.S. states are turning to lightly regulated pharmacies for lethal injection drugs, prompting a host of court battles and at least one stay of execution because of concern tainted or impure drugs could inflict cruel and unusual punishment on inmates.

The scramble for alternative supplies comes as major pharmaceutical companies, especially based in Europe, have clamped down on sales of drugs for executions in recent years in order to avoid association with the punishment.

Missourion Friday abandoned a plan to use the anesthetic propofol to put an inmate to death after the German maker of the drug, Fresenius Kabi, discovered that some had been sold to the state for executions, and suspended shipments to a U.S.

distributor in retaliation.

Cut off from traditional sources of drugs, at least five states where the death penalty is legal - South Dakota, Texas, Ohio, Georgia and Colorado - are looking to "compounding" pharmacies, which typically mix drugs for prescriptions and are mostly exempt from federal oversight and face widely varying scrutiny from states.

Tainted drugs from a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy caused an outbreak last year of a rare type of meningitis that killed more than 50 people and sickened more than 700 in 20 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The resulting outcry has sparked a drive in Congress for a larger role by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has warned of "special risks" from compounding pharmacies.

No judge appears to have ruled that an execution was botched from compounded drugs. But death penalty opponents have filed a flurry of lawsuits seeking to halt executions using them.

They say the use of compounded drugs runs the risk of violating the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which forbids states from inflicting "cruel and unusual punishment." "You don't have a high level of assurance that the drug is pure and potent," said Sarah Sellers, a pharmaceutical consultant who testified twice about the risks of compounders before the Massachusetts Legislature after the meningitis outbreak. "When used in executions, they are a real concern. It could take longer to die, there could be unnecessary suffering." Compounders and prison officials reject that view, saying the industry does good work, and that executions happen too fast for tainted drugs to mar the process.

A spokesman for the compounding industry, David Ball, said he was aware of only three pharmacies that had supplied compounded drugs for lethal injections, and that the industry in general was of "high quality." "No compounding pharmacy that I know of is actively seeking this business," he said. "Every pharmacist that I know chose their profession in part out of a desire to help people, and that is what they focus on in their work." The results of the court challenges have so far been mixed.

In their biggest success, a Georgia judge in July granted a stay of execution for death row inmate Warren Lee Hill. Among the reasons Fulton County Superior Court Judge Gail Tusan cited were questions whether Georgia's lethal injection drug was "somehow contaminated or improperly compounded." The state Supreme Court is considering the case.

Other judges have allowed executions to go ahead. In a case brought by three Texas death row inmates, among them Michael Yowell, challenging the use of the drug pentobarbital from a compounder, a judge said he was not persuaded.

"Pentobarbital will kill Yowell in five to eighteen minutes and his consciousness will be diminished almost immediately; therefore, infections like meningitis will not hurt him because they require weeks to incubate," wrote U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes.

Yowell was executed on Wednesday, the first Texas inmate put to death using the compounded drug. Compounding pharmacies combine or alter drugs mostly to fill individual prescriptions for patients.

The FDA, which regulates drug manufacturers, does not approve the products of compounding pharmacies, which are licensed through state pharmacy boards.

An FDA study found the potency of compounded drugs can vary widely from that listed on the label, and the agency has cited numerous cases of contamination from such operations.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Sept. 28 to give the FDA more authority over compounding pharmacies, although the measure is unlikely to become law soon because of the political gridlock in Washington over the budget, national debt and health reform.

In response to concerns about the quality of drugs, Texas had an independent laboratory, Eagle Analytical Services, test the state's compounded pentobarbital used in executions and it was 98.8 percent pure, court documents in the death row inmates case showed.

"Thousands of individuals use compounded drugs each day," said Jason Clark, spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. "The quality and potency of the compounded pentobarbital will not differ from the pentobarbital that is manufactured by a pharmaceutical company." LIFTING SECRECY The scramble for new sources of execution drugs has been accompanied by an effort to shield the process from scrutiny, which advocates for death row prisoners find troubling.

"The lack of transparency around the form and source of the drugs puts our clients at an unjustified risk of being executed with drugs that either will not work as planned or will cause excruciating pain and suffering," said Bryan Stull, a lawyer specializing in capital punishment for the American Civil Liberties Union. Court challenges and media scrutiny have been more successful in prying information about the compounded drugs from state authorities than in delaying executions.

South Dakotahad refused to identify where it got the drugs that it used to execute an inmate last year. A judge on Sept. 30 ordered the state to turn over some information to him, although he said the identity of the compounding pharmacist need not be disclosed publicly. Earlier this year, Colorado officials turned to compounding pharmacies to seek out sodium thiopental, a common execution drug until major drug companies two years ago refused to supply it. The information was disclosed in a letter sent by the Colorado corrections department to compounding pharmacies that became public in a lawsuit filed in May by the ACLU.

Ohio, which is running out of usable drugs for executions, announced on Oct. 4 that it would allow the purchase of drugs from compounding pharmacies if needed. Texas, which executes more inmates than any other state, stirred debate over whether it had promised secrecy to a supplier, when it identified the compounder earlier this month.

On Oct. 2, in response to a media public information request, the state criminal justice department said it had purchased pentobarbital for executions from Houston-based Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy.

Two days later, the owner of the pharmacy sent a letter to Texas corrections officials saying he wanted the drugs back because the company had been subjected to public criticism.

"It was my belief that this information would be kept on the 'down low' and that it was unlikely that it would be discovered that my pharmacy provided these drugs," owner Jasper Lovoi said in the letter, which was disclosed in documents as part of a federal lawsuit filed against the state by three death row inmates.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said it had purchased the drug legally and had no intention of returning it.

NEWS CORRELATE
4 Dicembre 2016
FIRENZE, ITALIA
A Firenze seduta solenne del Consiglio Regionale in occasione della Giornata internazionale "Città per la vita, contro la pena di morte" e Festa della Toscana, alle ore 11.00, presso il Teatro della Compagnia regionale

Riconoscimento alla Comunità di Sant'Egidio per l'impegno nella lotta alla pena capitale


Ha ritirato il premio il Prof. Adriano Roccucci, segretario generale della Comunità di Sant'Egidio
1 Dicembre 2016

dal Colosseo

1 Dicembre 2016
da Avvenire

Sant'Egidio. Duemila città si illuminano contro la pena di morte


Il 30 novembre è la Giornata mondiale delle città per la vita, iniziativa nata nel 2002 per abolire la pena capitale
30 Novembre 2016
PARIGI, FRANCIA
In occasione della Giornata delle Città per la Vita e dei 35 anni di abolizione della pena di morte in Francia

Parigi: 30 novembre, ore 19 Incontro per l'abolizione universale della pena di morte, Maison Victor Hugo, 6 Places de Vosges, Paris (Metro Bastille)


Con la Comunità di Sant'Egidio e il movimento dei Giovani per la Pace, alla presenza altre personalità
30 Novembre 2016
LISBONA, PORTOGALLO
Insieme alla Comunità di Sant'Egidio

Lisbona è città per la vita, contro la pena di morte, appuntamento il 30 novembre ore 18, Arco da rua Augusta


Sono molte le città portoghesi che aderiscono alla Giornata delle città per la vita
29 Novembre 2016
BIELORUSSIA
Lo annuncia Andrei Paluda dell'Associazione Viasna. Con la Comunità di Sant'Egidio siamo vicini alla sua famiglia

Apprendiamo con dolore che condanna di Ivan Kulesh è stata eseguita in Bielorussia


Ivan è uno dei condannati per i quali stiamo inviando appelli urgenti
tutte le news correlate

RASSEGNA STAMPA CORRELATA
28 Novembre 2016
AP

High court to examine mental disability, death penalty issue
12 Novembre 2016
Internazionale

Si rafforza la pena di morte negli Stati Uniti
11 Novembre 2016

Al liceo classico “Socrate” di Bari, conferenza “Non c’è giustizia senza vita”
24 Ottobre 2016
New York Times

The Death Penalty, Nearing Its End
4 Giugno 2016
The Washington Post

Meet the red-state conservatives fighting to abolish the death penalty
tutta la rassegna stampa correlata

VIDEO FOTO
53
Video promo Cities for Life 2015
3:22

0 visite

0 visite

0 visite

0 visite

0 visite
tutta i media correlati