Missourians challenge how state obtains execution drugs

by Elizabeth A. Elliott

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The Missouri Court of Appeals heard arguments Wednesday in a case saying a judge incorrectly dismissed a lawsuit challenging the state’s procedures for obtaining the drugs it uses to perform executions, according to the Associated Press. When the court will issue a ruling was unclear.

Justin Gelfand is the attorney for two former state lawmakers and two Missouri residents. He argued that the state violates federal and state law by using an illegal prescription to obtain pentobarbital from a compounding pharmacy for the lethal executions, according to the article.

NCR has reported on this in the past. Here are links to previous articles from NCR columnist Mary Ann McGivern who became a plaintiff in the July 2015 lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Corrections: Our challenge to Missouri Executions and The battle continues on that grimmest of topics, the death penalty.

The original lawsuit was dismissed in July 2015 by Cole County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Joyce. Joyce ruled that taxpayers do not have standing to challenge Department of Corrections’ operations and that the Missouri Supreme Court has jurisdiction in lawsuits related to the death penalty, according to the Associated Press.

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