A federal judge in Nebraska refused to block Tuesday’s execution of Carey Dean Moore, rejecting the Fresenius Kabi pharmaceutical company’s claims that using its drugs in a lethal injection will harm its business interests. The company is asking an appeals court to halt the execution.
A federal judge in Nebraska refused to block Tuesday’s execution of Carey Dean Moore, rejecting the Fresenius Kabi pharmaceutical company’s claims that using its drugs in a lethal injection will harm its business interests, reports the Omaha World-Herald. The firm will appeal to the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf sided with attorneys for the state, who insisted that prison officials legally obtained the drugs from a licensed pharmacy and are almost out of time to carry out the execution before one of the drugs expires. The judge said he did not want to “frustrate the wishes of Carey Dean Moore,” who has said he wants to die after 38 years on death row. Kopf discussed at length how 61 percent of Nebraska voters reinstated the death penalty in 2016, after it had been repealed by legislators.
“Decades have slipped by since Mr. Moore was sentenced to death,” Kopf said. “The people of Nebraska have spoken. Any delay now is tantamount to nullifying Nebraska law.” Unless the decision is quickly overturned on appeal, Moore will become the first inmate put to death by lethal injection in Nebraska. He is scheduled to be executed for the slayings of Omaha cabdrivers Reuel Van Ness and Maynard Helgeland five days apart in 1979. Nebraska’s last execution took place in 1997, when the state used the electric chair. Lethal injection was adopted in 2009. Moore, 60, did not join the drug company’s lawsuit. There have been seven previous stays of Moore’s execution. The Germany-based pharmaceutical company contended that it would suffer losses in sales and business reputation if its products were used to kill an inmate. The company alleged that prison officials either improperly or illegally obtained a drug that should have never been sold for an execution.