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Louisiana tricks hospital into supplying drug for execution cocktail

  1. Rob Cypher
    According to a report in The Lens, the Louisiana Department of Corrections tricked a hospital into providing one of the ingredients in a drug cocktail it was going to use in an execution.

    The Lens reports that the state’s supply of pentobarbital had expired in September, and that it was having difficulty acquiring a new source because pharmaceutical companies are increasingly wary of having their product associated with state-sponsored executions. After the harrowing 25-minute-long execution of Dennis McGuire in January, the state of Louisiana agreed to delay Christoper Sepulvado’s execution for six months as it “explored” options other than the drug cocktail that Oklahoma used.

    Sepulvado was convicted of torturing and beating his 6-year-old stepson, Wesley Allen Mercer, to death in 1992. In March, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) told The Advocate that the state had acquired the drugs it needed to put Sepulvado to death, but declined to say where it had acquired them.

    Despite the fact that it was the McGuire execution that initially caused the delay in his execution, the cocktail the state would use in Sepulvado’s execution was revealed to be the same one used by Oklahoma — midazolam and hydromorphone. The state, however, had no supply of hydromorphone on hand, so Sepulvado’s lawyers petitioned the court to learn as to where it had acquired the powerful pain medication.

    According to a document from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the source of the drug turned out to be the Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

    Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, a member of the nonprofit hospital’s board, told The Lens that “we assumed the drug was for one of their patients, so we sent it. We did not realize what the focus was. Had we known of the real use, we would never have [sent] it.”

    “We never inquire into the purpose for it. We assume it’s for legitimate and noble purposes,” Thibodeaux continued. “We have assurances from our CEO, who is a very forthright guy, that this will not happen again.”

    Scott Kaufman
    Raw Story
    August 10, 2014



  1. CNSgoingdown
    Good article but i think using the word "tricks" is a little over the top, all they asked for is hydromorphone it should be the hospitals job to inquire why the prison needs it, you can't base everything off of assumptions.
  2. Isodimorphism
    Absolutely disgusting, if the reporting is accurate. And absolutely unsurprising.

    I've read an article recently that argued that moving from methods of execution like firing squad and hanging to lethal injection was not for the benefit of the person being executed, but for the benefit of the people carrying out and witnessing the execution; it allows them to ignore and dissociate themselves from the inherent violence of the act.

    If Louisiana feels the need to kill people and can't get hold of any drugs, it should consider putting two bullets in their head; it will avoid any fiascos like the recent botched executions we've been hearing about in the news, and arms manufacturers might (or might not?) be more willing to sell them the necessary supplies.

    Of course, it will force the executioners and the people watching the event to examine their consciences, so maybe it will never happen.
  3. Alien Sex Fiend
    should consider not putting people on death row

    execution by a drug cocktail is a farce anyway, it was brought in the first place as a humane execution, something that pretends to be a medical procedure. any doctor will tell that there is no such thing as medical execution. there are people who chose to kill themselves and there are the ones that get killed. execution by the state is murder. people don't get sent to jail to be punished, eye for an eye, its to protect society from violence
  4. Isodimorphism
    I agree.

    But I'm not really advocating using the firing squad to execute people; my point is that if people saw a more obviously violent method of execution rather than something that appears to be humane and looks like a person falling to sleep (but might actually be more painful), a lot of them might change their minds about whether they supported capital punishment.
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