The filing in Trottie v. Livingston is available in Adobe .pdf format.
The Texas Tribune posts, "Death Row Appeal Alleges Execution Drugs Have Expired," by Terri Langford.
Attorneys for death row inmate Willie Trottie, who is scheduled for execution this week, say the lethal injection drugs that will be used on him have expired, according to an appeal filed early Tuesday in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice insists the drug it uses, pentobarbital, has not expired.
The eleventh-hour debate is detailed in an appeal filed on Trottie's behalf by attorney Maurie Levin of Philadelphia. She argues that even though TDCJ states that the drugs will not expire until the end of the month, the agency's claim "is not supported by a shred of evidence, expert or otherwise."
"There is a substantial risk that the use of expired drugs will subject Mr. Trottie to tortuous pain," she writes.
Jason Clark, a TDCJ spokesman, said the drug to be used, pentobarbital, "is not expired and has a use-by date of September 2014."
"Lawsuit argues Texas to use expired execution drug," is AP coverage by Michael Graczyk, via the Austin American-Statesman.
State lawyers argue the pentobarbital planned Wednesday evening for 45-year-old Willie Trottie is good through the end of this month and the lawsuit is merely another attempt to force the state to reveal its drug provider.
The suit was at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday after a federal judge in Houston rejected it.
Texas, like several other states, has turned to unidentified compounding pharmacies to purchase execution drugs. Courts previously have upheld the secrecy.
"Appeal for Houston killer says lethal drug has passed expiration date," is by Allan Turner of the Houston Chronicle.
In Tuesday's filing, Houston lawyer Jonathan Ross and Philadelphia lawyer Maurie Levin argue that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's "purchases (actual and attempted) of lethal injection drugs have been riddled with deceptive and questionable practices and communications."
In response to queries from Trottie's lawyers, Tuesday's petition says, the state prison system revealed that the pentobarbital to be used Wednesday will not expire until Sept. 30. The dose comes from the same batch as that used in April 3 and April 16 executions. It was tested for potency on March 17.
That claim, Trottie's lawyers contend, "is not supported by a shred of evidence, expert or otherwise, or the relevant science, which understands that expiriation dates of compounded chemicals is not a fixed science, is dependent on factors including the quality and sterility of the original ingredients, the proficiency of the compounders and the testing laboratory and storage conditions."
The federal appeal also challenges the reliability of the laboratory which tested the drug for potency, noting that it came under U.S. Federal Drug Administration scrutiny for operational shortcomings in 2013.
Earlier coverage from Texas begins at the link.