I Am Addicted 2

Arizona to kill prisoner with illegal drugs

Posted on: May 25, 2011

The state of Arizona is preparing to execute a prisoner with drugs that were obtained illegally, records obtained by the Bay Guardian and the ACLU of Northern California show.

Donald Edward Beaty is set to die by lethal injection early in the morning May 25. However, DEA records show that the sodium thiopental that will be used in the execution was not imported legally — and may not meet U.S. standards for drug quality.

“Arizona is about to execute someone with an illegal substance, and the federal government is ignoring its responsibility to enforce the law,” said Natasha Minsker, Death Penalty Policy Director for the ACLU of Northern California.

Documents obtained recently show that the Drug Enforcement Administration is investigating the illegal importation of the death drugs, and has seized thoipental stocks in several states. But Arizona’s prison system still has custody of the sodium thiopental that it imported.

And documents released May 24 show that Arizona — along with Nebraska, South Dakota and Arkansas — imported the drugs from either the U.K. or India without filing the proper DEA import declarations. That means the prison systems violated federal law.

“The DEA records demonstrate that Arizona and other states broke the law,” Minsker said. “We cannot understand why the DEA has failed to act but has allowed the states to keep these illegal and dangerous drugs. When state officials break the law in order to carry out an execution, it makes a mockery of our justice system and puts us all at risk. State and federal officials must follow and enforce the law—that’s their duty and what the public expects and deserves.”


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