South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley is fighting back against the Food and Drug Administration about the state's lethal injection drugs.
Both the FDA and the Drug Enforcement Administration say the substance used for lethal injection does not meet necessary standards. But Marty Jackley disagrees.
Now, it's the FDA that's pushing to get any foreign-manufactured Sodium Thiopental back that the state has in its possession.
Tuesday night, one of South Dakota-based organization against the death penalty is speaking out about Jackley and the FDA.
Jackley says these drugs have tested positive for safety and they are currently property of the state. So, until any court rules the state has to give them up, Jackley says they're staying in South Dakota.
South Dakotans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty spoke with KSFY. They oppose any death penalty case and when it comes to these drugs and Attorney General Jackley, they're siding with the FDA.
The FDA was notified about an issue with a foreign manufacturer that produces lethal injection drugs. Over the phone, we talked with a member of the South Dakotans For Alternatives to the Death Penalty who believes, after hearing this news, Sodium Thiopenthal is useless.
"In particular, we're pretty amazed with this case that Attorney General Jackley would refuse requests by the FDA considering a federal judge has ordered the FDA to collect all of these doses," Travis Schulze said.
In a letter to the FDA, Jackley said he does not agree with their request because the drugs have been deemed safe and effective.
"We feel the drugs and substances we have in our inventory meet the US standards and would be appropriate to use if ultimately the court allows their use," Attorney General Marty Jackley said.
These drugs and protocols were used back in 2007 when the state killed Elijah Page. Sodium Thoipenthal is the first drug in the three-drug protocol.
"Unless we change our execution protocol, this means we'd be unable to execute anyone in the state," Schulze said.
According to Jackley, there will be no return of the drugs. In his letter, he even offered to allow the FDA to perform their own testing.
"The FDA will see our letter, they've seen our due-diligence and that will satisfy them. We will reach that resolution that as long as meet testing standards, they will allow us to keep it in our inventory," Jackley said.
The organization against the death penalty hopes Jackley complies with the FDA and gives up the drugs to avoid any legal troubles.
Jackley says if he was to give them up, it'd be a bigger issue about the state not being able to carry out a jury's sentence due to its inventory. He says he'll continue to work with the FDA to come to an appropriate, prompt resolution.
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