"FDA appeals lethal injection ruling," is Kevin O'Hanlon's report for the Lincoln Journal Star.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that could force Nebraska to surrender one of its lethal-injection drugs.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon of Washington, D.C., told the FDA in March “to immediately notify any and all state correctional departments which it has reason to believe are still in possession of any foreign manufactured thiopental that the use of such drug is prohibited by law and that, that thiopental must be returned immediately to the FDA.”
In April, the FDA ordered Nebraska prison officials to turn over any foreign-manufactured thiopental in their possession. The letter followed Leon's ruling that said the FDA ignored the law in allowing foreign-made sodium thiopental into the country.
Leon sided with lawyers for death row inmates in Tennessee, Arizona and California who want to keep out sodium thiopental because it is an unapproved drug manufactured overseas.
Shannon Kingery, spokeswoman for the Nebraska attorney general's office, has said Leon's ruling does not apply here because the supply of the drug in that case was made by a different company from the one that made Nebraska's.
But with the appeal, it is likely defense lawyers will be able to convince the Nebraska Supreme Court to delay scheduling any executions until it's determined whether Leon's ruling applies to Nebraska. And while no one knows how long that appeal could take, Nebraska's two batches of sodium thiopental expire in May and December of next year.
Omaha Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh, a member of the Legislature's Judiciary Committee, recently said he thinks lawmakers need to step in and possibly change Nebraska's protocol.
"FDA appeals ruling to surrender death drug," is the Omaha World-Herald report.
The federal Food and Drug Administration has appealed a judge's ruling that might force Nebraska to surrender its supply of a key drug used to carry out lethal-injection executions.
The recent action comes after Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning had joined other state attorneys general in urging the FDA to challenge the ruling prohibiting the use of sodium thiopental obtained overseas.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon also ordered states, like Nebraska, that had obtained the drug from a foreign manufacturer to turn in their supply to the FDA.
The Swiss manufacturer of Nebraska's sodium thiopental also asked the state to voluntarily return its supply, saying it was obtained by the state under false pretenses.
Nebraska prison officials have refused the requests, stating the state's supply was legitimately obtained.
FDA officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday afternoon. The Attorney General's Office said it would have no comment.
In South Dakota, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports, "FDA appeals court ruling on lethal-injection drug."
The Food and Drug Administration is appealing a federal judge’s ruling against importing a lethal injection drug that could affect South Dakota and Nebraska.
News of the appeal came on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court said it would refuse to hear Donald Moeller’s appeal of his conviction for the 1990 rape and murder of a 9-year-old Sioux Falls girl.
In March, a judge sided with death row inmates in Tennessee, Arizona and California who want to keep the drug out. The judge found the FDA had wrongly allowed states to import the drug and ordered the agency to get it back. Nebraska, South Dakota and other states refused.
Earlier coverage of the FDA litigation begins at the link.