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CALIFORNIA (USA): DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS REFUSES TO RETURN SODIUM THIOPENTAL TO FDA

May 25, 2012: California, Nebraska and South Dakota refuse to return sodium thiopental to FDA. California prison officials are defying a U.S. Food and Drug Administration order to return supplies of a foreign-made drug used in executions, saying they disagree with a federal judge's ruling that the drug was imported illegally without an FDA safety review.
The FDA, which also disagreed with the judge and argued that no such review is required, said today that it will appeal the ruling. The dispute adds further uncertainty to the resumption of executions in California, blocked since 2006 by an order by another federal judge who found numerous flaws in the state's procedures for lethal injections. After the sole U.S. manufacturer stopped production of sodium thiopental in 2009, California and several other states got new supplies from a British distributor of Austrian-made sodium thiopental.
The FDA, which tests foreign-made medications for safety and effectiveness before allowing their distribution, approved the drug's shipments without inspection, saying a review of execution drugs was not part of its "public health role."
A judge in Washington, D.C., disagreed in March and told the agency to halt the imports and to tell states to return their supplies to the FDA.
A 1962 law explicitly requires the FDA to test all imported drugs and to ban shipments of unexamined drugs, said U.S. District Judge Richard Leon. He said the agency was violating the law and appeared to be demonstrating a "callous indifference to the health consequences of those imminently facing the executioner's needle."
In response, several states have switched to another anesthetic. Nebraska and South Dakota have refused to surrender their thiopental, saying they have conducted their own safety tests.
California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a letter to the FDA dated May 1, and made public Friday, that it would not obey the agency's order to turn over the drug.
The FDA has not acted against states that have disregarded its orders.
Brad Berenson, a lawyer for condemned prisoners in California, Arizona and Tennessee who filed the suit in Leon's court, said Friday that it was "extraordinary for state law enforcement officials to flout the authority of a federal regulatory agency that's backed by the ruling of a federal court."  (Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 25/05/2012)

IRAN: AT LEAST 9 PRISONERS EXECUTED ONE DAY AFTER EU EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT THE ALARMING NUMBER OF THE EXECUTIONS
MALAYSIA: INDIAN NATIONAL GETS THE GALLOWS FOR TRAFFICKING
INDIA: DEATH SENTENCE FOR RAPIST KILLER
INDIA: PRESIDENT COMMUTES DEATH SENTENCE OF 3 MORE PRISONERS
UAE: DEATH SENTENCE OF MURDERER UPHELD
JUDGES SENTENCE CHARLES TAYLOR TO 50 YEARS
KUWAIT: COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCE OVER FILIPINA MURDER
DR CONGO: DEFECTORS SENTENCED TO DEATH
NIGERIA: 3 MEN TO DIE BY HANGING FOR ROBBERY
MALAYSIA: 3 FILIPINOS ON DEATH ROW PARDONED
UAE: FIRING SQUAD FOR MAID WHO KILLED MOTHER AND TODDLER
USA: THREE PERCENT OF EXECUTIONS SINCE 1900 WERE BOTCHED, STUDY FINDS
IRAN: TWO PRISONERS HANGED PUBLICLY
KUWAIT: SPIES' SENTENCES COMMUTED
VIETNAM: LETHAL DRUG SHORTAGE OFFERS DEATH-ROW PRISONERS REPRIEVE
PAKISTAN: DEATH DECREE OVER WEDDING VIDEO
MALAYSIA: FILIPINO MAID TO HANG FOR TRAFFICKING 1126.9 GRAMS OF COCAINE
INDIA: THREE SENTENCED TO DEATH IN MURDER CASE
CHINA: SOUTH KOREAN MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
ZIMBABWE: CYANIDE KILLERS GET DEATH PENALTY
IRAN: SEVEN PRISONERS HANGED
TUNISIA: MILITARY TRIBUNAL SEEKS DEATH PENALTY FOR BEN ALI
TUNISIA: CONSTITUTION TO SEE END OF DEATH PENALTY, ITALY SAYS
USA: REGISTRY TALLIES OVER 2,000 WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS SINCE 1989
CHINA: TYCOON JAILED AFTER DEATH SENTENCE REVOKED
IRAN: 14 HANGED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: GAZA COURT REJECTS DEATH SENTENCE APPEAL
USA: 15 STATES URGE FEDS TO HELP IMPORT LETHAL INJECTION DRUG
SAUDI ARABIA: TWO PAKISTANIS BEHEADED FOR MURDERS
TEXAS (USA): TEXAS PRISON SYSTEM HAS DRUGS FOR 23 EXECUTIONS

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