Nebraska set for execution after about-face on death penalty

Nebraska set for execution after about-face on death penalty

An unprecedented combination of four drugs, including the first use of fentanyl in an execution, was employed to put him to death.

The Nebraska State Penitentiary on Tuesday executed convicted murderer Carey Dean Moore with a mixture of drugs that included fentanyl, according to The New York Times.

Nebraska is not the first state to consider using fentanyl in an execution - particularly as drug companies continue to resist their products being used for death sentences.

At 10:31am, Moore's chest stopped and he went completely still.

At 10:38am, Moore's eyelids cracked open.

During this time, witnesses say he mouthed several words in the direction of his family witnesses, including the phrase "I love you".

The 60-year-old was pronounced dead at 10:47 a.m. (1547 GMT).

Moore appealed for his brother's parole to be lifted. "I am guilty. They are not", he said.

Moore had been on death row for 38 years and said he did not want further delays. He also drew attention to the plight of innocent men on death row.

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Amnesty International denounced the state's move to participate in "the ultimate denial of human rights" after having carried out no executions since 1997.

The light turnout stood in contrast to the 1994 execution of Harold Lamont Otey, when more than 1,000 people created a raucous, party-like atmosphere. The Catholic Catechism, the church's book of moral and religious teachings, had previously allowed the use of capital punishment in certain cases.

A handful of demonstrators gathered during the rainy morning to protest the execution. The governor, a wealthy former businessman, has said he was fulfilling the wishes of voters in the conservative state. The Associated Press reports that Nebraska protocol calls first for Diazepam, also known as Valium, to be administered through an IV to leave the inmate unconscious.

"There's no particular reason why one would use fentanyl", said Robert Dunham, executive director of the nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center. He shot Helgeland on his own five days later. Moore was arrested a week later.

Moore released a "last statement", where he apologized to his brother, Donald, who was with him during his first murder.

Moore had faced execution dates set by the Nebraska Supreme Court seven times since he was convicted, but each was delayed because of legal challenges and questions over whether previous lethal injection drugs were purchased legally. "Why must they remain there one day longer?"

Four members of the media witnessed his execution.

"There was a point in my life when I probably would have pulled the switch myself, but 39 years has a way of dissipating your anger", he said. But two pharmaceutical companies tried to block the execution in federal court, claiming their reputations would suffer if the killing proceeded. Pickens listed these options in court filings, including a suit asking where Nebraska obtained its drugs, a challenge to "this experimental protocol" the state was using and another focused on "the almost 38 year unconstitutional delay in executing him".

The company quickly appealed, and on Monday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit agreed with the lower court's ruling, paving the way for the execution to go forward.

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