Execution of Jeffrey Landrigan

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The execution of Jeffrey Landrigan, who had been convicted of murder in the state of Arizona, was carried out on October 26, 2010 by lethal injection.[1] The sodium thiopental used in his execution was obtained from a source in Great Britain[2] due to the shortage in the United States.[3]

Landrigan was found guilty of murdering Chester Dean Dyer during an armed burglary.[4] The jury found Landrigan guilty of murder and Landrigan himself prevented his defense attorney from presenting any mitigating evidence. [clarification needed] The judge who sentenced him to death described Landrigan as "a person who has no scruples and no regard for human life and human beings".[5]

Landrigan's execution is significant because one of the drugs used in executions in the United States was in short supply and had to be imported from abroad. Sodium thiopental is a barbiturate and the first of the three drugs used in the American lethal injection cocktail. Hospira has supplied thiopental within the United States, but could not supply Arizona with the dose for the October 2010 execution. The sodium thiopental used in Landrigan's execution may have come from Great Britain[citation needed]. Great Britain is a member of the European Union (EU) where it is illegal to produce chemicals for use in execution within the Union. The EU did not at the time specifically prohibit the export of sodium thiopental to non-EU members as it has medicinal uses,[6] but the EU from 21 December 2011 extended trade restrictions to prevent the use of certain medicinal products for capital punishment.[7]

Due to its use for executions in the US, the UK introduced a ban on the export of sodium thiopental in December 2010,[8] after it was established that no European supplies to the US were being used for any other purpose.[9] The restrictions were based on "the European Union Torture Regulation (including licensing of drugs used in execution by lethal injection)".[10]

Jeffrey Landrigan was the 44th convicted murderer executed in the United States in 2010; the 1232nd executed in the U.S. since 1976; the 1st murderer executed in Arizona in 2010, and the 24th murderer executed in Arizona since 1976.[5]

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