Nebraska carries out first execution in US using the opioid fentanyl


Nebraska carries out first execution in US using the opioid fentanyl

Kate Randall

15 August 2018

The state of Nebraska carried out the execution Tuesday morning of Carey Dean Moore, marking the state’s first execution in more than two decades. The state used a lethal injection protocol including fentanyl, the powerful synthetic drug at the center of the US opioid crisis that claimed more than 70,000 lives last year alone.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and the state’s prison authorities have the dubious distinction of pioneering the use of fentanyl for state-sanctioned murder.

The execution proceeded after both a federal district court and a US Court of Appeals refused a request by a German pharmaceutical company for a temporary restraining order to halt the execution. Fresenius Kabi said it had “grounds to believe” that two drugs of the four-part lethal injection protocol were the company’s products. Nebraska has not identified the source for its lethal injection drugs.

Moore, 60, was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1979 killings, five days apart, of two Omaha cabdrivers, Reuel Van Ness and Maynard Helgeland, both 47. Moore reportedly targeted the two because he knew they carried cash.

Moore was transported in advance of his execution from death row at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution to a holding cell at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln, which houses the state’s execution chamber. He had served 39 years on death row.

Moore, who had seven previous execution dates that were delayed for various legal reasons, did not fight his final date with death, telling his family, friends and reporters that he was tired of living so long on death row, according to the Omaha World-Herald. As a born-again Christian, he said he had received…

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