Prisons chief: Execution drug supply error not state’s fault

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada’s prisons director says a supplier’s error providing drugs the state wanted for an execution wasn’t the state’s fault, and he felt no obligation meet manufacturer demands to return them.

State corrections department chief James Dzurenda (zur-EHN’-dah) acknowledged Tuesday he received pharmaceutical firms’ letters prohibiting their products from being used for executions.

Dzurenda said he filed the letters away without sharing them with other state officials at a time officials were trying to find ways to obtain drugs for Nevada’s first execution in 12 years.

Dzurenda is the first witness in state court hearings on a bid by three companies to show Nevada improperly obtained their products for an execution.

State attorneys say the drugs were obtained not because of subterfuge, but because the companies lacked their own distribution controls.

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