Nebraska Becomes First State To Use Fentanyl To Carry Out Inmate’s Death Sentence

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

Nebraska became the first state to execute an inmate with a lethal drug cocktail that included the synthetic opioid fentanyl Tuesday.

The execution of twice-convicted murderer Carey Dean Moore marked the state’s first execution since 1997 and its first execution to use lethal injection.

Moore was executed using a combination of drugs never before used in the U.S. that included fentanylreported WUSA9. The drug cocktail included Valium to knock the inmate unconscious, fentanyl, a muscle paralyzer and finally potassium chloride to stop the heart, reported Fox News.

Moore was injected with the first of the drugs at 10:24 a.m. and was declared dead at 10:47 a.m. Tuesday, said Nebraska Corrections Director Scott Frakes according to the Omaha World-Herald.

German drug company Fresenius Kabi unsuccessfully sued to postpone the execution, accusing Nebraska of “improperly using its drugs.” The company makes muscle paralyzer cisatracurium and potassium chloride, according to CNN.

If it were not for a lawsuit from another drugmaker, New Jersey-based Alvogen, Nevada would have been the first state to use fentanyl in a lethal injection. The state of Nevada and drugmakers who do not want their products used in lethal injections have been locked in a legal battle since July 11 that now involves the state Supreme Court.

Nevada would have executed twice-convicted murderer Scott Raymond Dozier with a lethal injection that included fentanyl July 11 if not for the drugmaker’s last-minute lawsuit. (RELATED: Nebraska Governor Fights To Execute First Inmate Since 1997, Overcomes Obstacles Frustrating Other States)

Nebraska Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts worked to reinstate Nebraska’s death penalty after it was banned by state lawmakers in 2015. Moore, 60, was sentenced to death in 1979 for shooting and killing two cab drivers, Reuel Van Ness and Maynard Helgeland. Moore was on death row for 38 years and was no longer fighting his capital punishment sentence when he was executed, reported the Omaha World-Herald.

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