PIERRE, S.D. – On September 23, 2011, the DEA advised the South Dakota Department of Corrections that its supply of lethal injection substances could not be used. The DEA has taken similar positions in other states including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Carolina and Tennessee.
On October 5, 2011, Attorney General Jackley advised the DEA that the lethal injection substances were properly cleared by federal authorities through customs, and that the substances have independently tested positive for meeting U.S. Pharmacopeia’s standards for safety and efficacy. The DEA was reminded of its responsibilities, which do not include prevention of state enforcement of criminal laws, as well as the United States Supreme Court authority permitting state death penalty laws in appropriate circumstances. The DEA was further advised that the State would not forfeit the lethal injection substances without proper hearing and appeal if necessary, without a satisfactory replacement inventory.
Attorney General Jackley concluded by accepting the DEA’s offer to work “to promptly come to an appropriate resolution.” The State is taking further measures which include consideration of additional lethal injection drug protocol options to ensure that it remains able to carry out a lawful jury and court sentence. Because the DEA letter and its recent lethal injection policies have originated from Washington, the issue should not affect the ongoing cooperative relationships with local and regional DEA agents.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : Tuesday, October 11, 2011
CONTACT: Sara Rabern, (605) 773-3215