MOSCOW (Sputnik) — This comes after Nebraska’s controversially pro-death penalty Governor Pete Ricketts claimed the state had already ordered a shipment of two drugs used for three-drug lethal injections. He said ten inmates would be put to death as soon as the drugs were delivered.
But the Omaha World Herald newspaper cited FDA spokesman Jeff Ventura as saying Friday that it was illegal to import one of the lethal cocktail drugs, an anesthetic called sodium thiopental.
"With very limited exceptions, which do not apply here, it is unlawful to import this drug, and the FDA would refuse its admission into the United States," he was quoted as saying.
On Wednesday, Nebraska Senators voted 30-19 to override the governor’s veto and repeal death penalty, making Nebraska the first traditionally conservative state since 1973 to eliminate capital punishment.
Gov. Ricketts said, however, that the ban would not prevent his administration from proceeding with executions of ten people who were already on death row when the decision was taken. Neither would he cancel the shipments of lethal drugs.
The state paid reportedly almost $55,000 to a broker in India for new supplies after its stocks ran dry. The United States has been unable to buy lethal drugs from EU pharmaceutical companies since they object to executions.