Neb. AG defends purchase of lethal injection drug

January 9, 2012 - 1:30 PM

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning is disputing a death-row inmate's claim that state officials were conned into buying stolen doses of an execution drug.

Bruning released emails and financial statements Monday that show the Indian drug broker, Harris Pharma LLP, bought sodium thiopental from Swiss manufacturer Naari and then sold doses to Nebraska.

The state plans to use the drugs for Michael Ryan's execution for a 1985 slaying.

But Ryan's attorney claims the doses Nebraska recently bought were supposed to be used only for "test and evaluation" as an anesthetic in Zambia and not sold.

Bruning said Monday the documents contradict those claims.

While the state's Department of Correctional Services bought the sodium thiopental, Ryan's attorney says Bruning's office advised the department on how to acquire the drug.