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Raskin, Pressley Condemn Federal Execution, Demand Documents on Pentobarbital

Washington, D.C. (July 14, 2020)—Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and Subcommittee Member Ayanna Pressley sent letters to four companies identified as potentially involved in helping the Department of Justice (DOJ) carry out executions of federal prisoners.

This morning, the Department of Justice conducted the first federal execution in 17 years after an overnight battle at the Supreme Court of the United States.  Chairman Raskin and Rep. Pressley issued the following statement in response to these developments:

“This Administration’s obscene rush to prioritize federal executions in the middle of this pandemic is shameful.  More concentrated focus was placed on executing one person than on coming up with a nationwide public health strategy to save hundreds of thousands lives across our nation.

“The political desperation for executions has outpaced the standard ineffectiveness of the Administration.  While DOJ has refused for months to respond to our request for information about its execution protocol, it moved with deadly efficiency overnight to take its case from the District Court to the Supreme Court in a single day, and to complete the execution mere hours after the Court’s ruling.  The recklessness of this twisted and cruel priority is only underscored by the news that one worker scheduled to be involved in the executions actually tested positive for coronavirus, potentially putting other medical staff, guards, family, and anyone else involved in this grim task at risk of contracting COVID-19.”

Last year, Reps. Raskin and Pressley launched an investigation into DOJ’s July 25, 2019, announcement that the Federal Bureau of Prisons would resume capital punishment.  Since then, DOJ has refused to produce the requested documents.  However, using heavily redacted federal court records, the Subcommittee has identified several companies it believes have supplied or tested the death penalty drug pentobarbital for DOJ:  Absolute Standards, Inc., ARL Bio Pharma, DynaLabs, LLC, and Eagle Analytical Services, Inc.  

The Subcommittee is requesting that all four companies provide documents and information about its testing of pentobarbital for death penalty executions by July 28, 2020.

Click here to read today’s letter to Absolute Standards, Inc.

Click here to read today’s letter to ARL Bio Pharma.

Click here to read today’s letter to DynaLabs, LLC.

Click here to read today’s letter to Eagle Analytical Services, Inc.

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