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Killer first to be executed with new drug cocktail including fentanyl

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Deanna Wagner | 15 August, 2018, 19:02

Carey Moore, the 60-year-old inmate executed on Tuesday, did not attempt to get a last-minute stay of the execution.

A combined total of less than a dozen death penalty supporters and opponents gathered in the rain while the execution took place. A court challenge by a drug company seeking to block the execution over the use of its drugs, alongside fentanyl, in the lethal injection, had failed on Monday.

German pharmaceutical company Fresenius Kabi attempted to halt the execution with a federal lawsuit filed last week.

Ten people witnessed Moore's death, four being members of the Nebraska media, two Nebraska Department of Corrections staffers, a clergyman, and three witnesses of Moore's choosing.

Frensenius Kabi argued that the use of its drugs for lethal injections could bring "great reputational injury" and harm profits.

Tuesday's execution comes a little more than three years after Nebraska politicians abolished the death penalty, only to have it reinstated the following year through a citizen ballot drive partially financed by Republican Governor Pete Ricketts. Over the course of several minutes, his face turned a slight shade of red and then purple.

Only potassium chloride has been used before in executions. The state's supply of one of the drugs used in the mixture to kill Moore expires at the end of this month and another expires in October.

Moore launched no last-minute appeals to spare his life, but the USA arm of German drug maker Fresenius Kabi had sued unsuccessfully to prevent the state from using its products in a lethal injection, which it says could harm its reputation.

Omarosa says Trump is trying to silence her
And she accused Mr Trump of lying to the American people, saying he "doesn't even know what's happening in his White House". Over the weekend Sanders issued a similar statement from New Jersey, where President Trump was staying last week.

Ricketts recently said he was fulfilling the wishes of voters who opted to overturn the Legislature's decision in the 2016 general election.

The companies could not prove that their products would be used, however, because prison officials refused to identify the suppliers of the drugs to be administered to Moore.

The American Civil Liberties union also criticized the governor, saying he had carried out an execution "shrouded in secrecy". Moore was convicted of first-degree murder, while his brother was convicted of second-degree murder.

After Nebraska legislators overrode Ricketts' veto to outlaw the death penalty in 2015, he responded by personally investing money in a referendum to restore the death penalty, which passed the following year.

Moore was convicted of killing Reuel Van Ness and Maynard Helgeland, left, two taxi drivers. Moore had seen previous execution dates come and go and had expressed frustration with the repeated delays. But Robert Dunham, the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, told the New York Times that "I can't tell from the description whether it's an indication of an execution gone bad or there are just question marks", citing the length of the execution and accounts of Moore coughing.

Scott Frakes, director of Nebraska's Department of Correctional Services noted in an affidavit that lethal substances "are hard, if almost impossible, to obtain" in many death penalty states.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, 31 states, the federal government and U.S. military allow for capital punishment.

"Witnesses said that there appeared to be no complications in the execution process", The Associated Press reported.