The first execution of Nebraska since 1997 is carried out after a judge ruled on Friday in favor of the prisoner's wishes, although a lawsuit by a German pharmaceutical company alleged that the state illegally received drugs.
Carey Dean Moore, one of the nation's longest prisoner on death row, is executed on Tuesday after being convicted in 1979 for killing two taxi drivers at five-day intervals. Moore has stopped fighting the state's efforts to execute him.
But Fresenius Kabi, a German pharmaceutical company, filed suit this week to prevent the execution by claiming that the state had illegally obtained at least one of the company's drugs so it would damage its reputation and business relationships; it strongly opposes the use of its products for executions.
Moore is said to be running a combination of four drugs, the sedative Diazepam, commonly known as Valium, to knock him unconscious ; Fentanyl citrate, a potent synthetic opioid; Cisatracurium besylate to induce palsy and stop its respiration; and potassium chloride to stop his heart.
Nebraska civil servants refused to identify the source of their execution drugs, but Fresenius Kabi claims that the state's supply of potassium chloride is stored in 30 milliliter bottles. Fresenius Kabi said it was the only company to package the drug in vials of this size.
U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf ruled against the company, arguing that a temporary blocking of execution would thwart the will of the people.
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Head was referring to the 61 percent of Nebraska voters who decided to reintroduce the death penalty in 2016 after lawmakers abolished it to have.
"I will not allow the plaintiff to frustrate the wishes of Mr. Moore and the laws of the state of Nebraska," Kopf said in the hearing.
The Associated Press has contributed to this report.