Texas executes man with expired drugs despite court ruling it amounted to ‘torture’

The state of Texas allegedly began using expired execution drugs that could cause unnecessary pain and suffering, beginning with the Tuesday murder of 65-year-old Robert Fratta, who was convicted of paying money to kill his wife in 1994.

Fratta, a former police officer, He allegedly gave two men $1,000 and a jeep to kill his wife, Farah.He was found dead in his garage with two shots to the head. According to Houston Public Media. HPM adds that Fratta tried to get her life insurance policy days later. (The prisoner defended his innocence Texas Tribune reportsargued that his conviction was based on a single witness who was granted immunity to testify.)

The impending execution has sparked a swift and complex judicial battle in Texas courts in recent days.

Robert Fratta (Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

Robert Fratta (Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

Lawyers for Fratta and two others argued in a Texas civil court in December that expired drugs “could act unpredictably, block IV lines during execution, and cause unnecessary suffering.” news week reports.

As part of their lawsuit, Dr., a professor of pharmacology at the University of South Carolina School of Pharmacy. The “result invalid” warning caused bottles of the drug sometimes years past the recommended expiry date.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said in a statement:[a]All lethal injection drugs are within their expiration date and have been properly tested,” Death Penalty Information Center reports.

The Austin court sided with the inmates. to manage Following an emergency hearing on Tuesday, it was decided that executions should be suspended because Texas’ current stock of drugs is “probably illegal to hold or manage” under the Texas Pharmaceuticals Act, the Texas Controlled Substances Act, the Texas Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act. Law and the Texas Penal Code, stating that the state did not provide evidence that ex-drugs would not cause “torture, ill-treatment, or unnecessary suffering.”

However, a Texas appeals court, then state supreme court, ruled that the Austin panel had no jurisdiction over a criminal case, allowing the executions to continue. Texas Tribune reports. in the US Supreme Court refused to interveneIt lays the groundwork for Fratta’s execution.

He was pronounced dead on Tuesday evening, 24 minutes after being injected with drugs, and did not make a final statement. tribune reports.

“Texas continues to really rely on secrecy in these executions, and that’s why they’re trying to end this case because they don’t want to tell anyone that these drugs have passed their expiration date,” said US attorney Shawn Nolan. two others still in death row and awaiting execution, told Dallas Morning Newsargued that the state invites “a serious risk of pain and suffering during the execution process”.

The drug debate isn’t the first in the Lone Star State.

Texas Banned disclosure of suppliers of prescription drugs in 2015amid growing opposition among the mainstream pharmaceutical industry to providing drugs for death sentences. The government now relies on compounding pharmacies rather than drug manufacturers to produce lethal injection drugs.

Independent and nonprofit Responsible Business Initiative for Justice (RBIJ) launched a joint campaign calling for an end to the death penalty in the United States. The RBIJ attracted more than 150 well-known signatories to the Business Leaders’ Declaration Against the Death Penalty, and The Independent was last on the list. As part of this initiative, we join high-profile executives such as Ariana Huffington, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, and pledge to highlight the injustice of the death penalty in our news.

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