Nebraska plans morning execution for death-row inmate
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska prison officials have scheduled a morning execution next month for their longest-serving death-row inmate as they prepare to carry out the state’s first-ever lethal injection with a never-before-used combination of drugs.
Carey Dean Moore’s execution is expected to take place at 10 a.m. on Aug. 14 at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln, the Department of Correctional Services announced Friday in a news release.
The Nebraska Supreme Court set the date earlier this month when it issued a death warrant for Moore, who was sentenced to death for the 1979 murders of two Omaha taxicab drivers, Reuel Van Ness, Jr. and Maynard Helgeland. Moore, 60, has spent 38 years on Nebraska’s death row.
Corrections Director Scott Frakes said in a statement the prison is following the procedures “to ensure the order of the court is enforced.”
Corrections officials plan to execute Moore by lethal injection with diazepam, commonly known as Valium; the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl citrate, the paralytic cisatracurium besylate; and potassium chloride to stop the heart. The corrections department’s supply of potassium chloride is set to expire at the end of August.
Department officials have said all four drugs were purchased in the United States, but declined to say how the drugs were obtained or who provided them. They’re currently fighting lawsuits by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska and Nebraska media outlets that could force them to release documents identifying the supplier.
Nebraska’s last execution was in 1997, using the electric chair, but the state Supreme Court later declared the chair unconstitutional.
Corrections officials said they’re contacting witnesses for the execution. State law allows three witnesses to attend on behalf of Moore, in addition to one member of the clergy. As many as three witnesses may attend on behalf of the victims’ families.
Additionally, Frakes may designate up to six other people to witness the execution. Two of those must be professional members of the Nebraska news media.
After years of delays, Moore has stopped fighting state officials’ efforts to execute him, and he recently accused them of being too “lazy or incompetent” to carry out his sentence. He filed a motion in May to dismiss his court-appointed lawyer, but the state Supreme Court denied his request. Moore also his attorney to stop fighting the state’s attempts to execute him.
Moore’s attorney, Jeff Pickens of the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, has said he hasn’t submitted any new court filings in the case since receiving that order. Pickens did not immediately respond to a phone message.
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