Federal authorities have ordered Nebraska to turn over its supply of a lethal injection drug. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning fought to keep the drug insisting it was obtained appropriately.
Bruning’s office and the Nebraska Department of Corrections confirmed Wednesday that they have received letters from the federal Food and Drug Administration requesting the drug, sodium thiopental, be turned over to federal authorities.
Neither spokeswomen for the corrections department nor the attorney general's office could say whether the state planned to turn over its supply of the drug, which the state obtained from a foreign supplier.
The chemical is difficult to obtain in the United States since it is made in countries that are not pro-death penalty. Naari Pharmaceuticals, a Swiss company, says it gave a middleman in India free samples to use as an anasthetic in Zambia. However, the middleman sold the samples to Nebraska.
Bruning said the drug was legally exported from India to the U.S.
The order follows a federal judge's ruling late last month that the FDA wrongly allowed other states to import the drug. The judge also ordered the FDA to immediately notify any state correctional departments with foreign-manufactured thiopental to turn it over to the FDA.