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Defense attorney still concerned with execution drugs

OKLAHOMA CITY – Will we finally see an end in the court battles over execution drugs this month?

Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced in the News Channel Four studios Friday that the state found manufactured versions of all of the lethal injection drugs.

They’ll be used to kill Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner this month.

The move will mean the state will not have to use compounding pharmacies to create the drugs.

Click here to see previous report.

Earlier this month, the executions were delayed due to a court battle surrounding the effectiveness of the drugs.

At that point, the state was going to use a compounding pharmacy to create the three-drug cocktail and refused to release the name of the company in an effort to protect pharmacists from threats.

Defense attorneys for the men on death row felt that secrecy was unconstitutional.

They felt the public should know who supplies the drugs so the drugs can be investigated in order to test their ingredients and effectiveness.

With the manufacture-made drugs, Pruitt felt the questions could stop.

“Each of the drugs are now manufactured drugs, and the questions that have been raised by the defense are mute. The executions should happen,” said Pruitt. “The manufacturer that makes these drugs are all FDA approved. The drugs they produce are all FDA approved.”

However, Federal Defense Attorney Madeline Cohen isn’t satisfied.

“We want to know that the drugs that are being used to execute our clients are safe and effective and not going to result in a prolonged and torturous death that is unconstitutional,” Cohen argued. “Just to give you an example, the Oklahoma protocol that’s being used called for a 50 mg to 100 ml concentration of Midazolam, and our research indicates there is no FDA approved source of manufactured Midazolam in that concentration.”

Cohen wants to know the name of the manufacturer to check.

However, Pruitt says he won’t reveal the name.

He will only hand over lab studies confirming effectiveness.

“Why do you need to know the source if those things can be affirmed?” Pruitt questioned.

He says he wants to protect the manufacturers from public threats and intimidation.

“As long as the secrecy is being maintained with respect to the source of those drugs, we have no real assurances about their safety,” said Cohen.

Despite efforts to delay Lockett’s and Warner’s executions, the two are set to be executed April 22 and April 29.