Death Penalty

Louisiana Tricked a Local Hospital Into Supplying Execution Drugs

Lethal lies.


Lethal injection
CA Corrections

A new piece published by The Lens reveals that the Louisiana Department of Corrections (LDOC) tricked a local hospital into supplying it with drugs it intended to use for an execution that has since been delayed.

According to documents obtained and published by The Lens's Della Hasselle, the Louisiana Department of Corrections placed an order for one of the two execution drugs it needed, hydromorphone, with Lake Charles Memorial Hospital on January 28th—eight days before condemned child-killer Christopher Sepulvado was scheduled to be executed. The state already had the other drug it needed, midazolam, in stock at the time it placed the order, although the origin of that drug is still unknown.

When the hospital filled the hydromorphone order for LDOC, they assumed it was going to be used to treat sick inmates housed at Louisiana's Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, not to kill a death row inmate housed at the state penitentiary.  

A spokesman for the Lake Charles Memorial Hospital told local Louisiana news outlet, KPLC, "At no time did [the hospital] believe or was led to believe that the drug would be used for an execution." Instead, a pharmacist at Elayn Hunt Correctional center told the hospital "they needed the drug, hydromorphone, for a medical patient."

Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, a board member for Lake Charles Memorial Hospital told The Lens, "Had we known of the real use, we never would have done it."

This isn't the first time Louisiana has used shady tactics in an attempt to obtain lethal injection drugs. Emails released by the publication in January reveal that Louisiana prison officials explored illegally obtaining pentobarbital last September from a compounding pharmacy in Oklahoma that was not licensed to do business in Louisiana.

However, it appears that this is the first time a state has openly lied to a hospital in order to obtain drugs it wanted to use for an execution. What's more, Louisiana broke its own execution protocol in the process, since the drug was ordered 22 days after it was supposed to have already been in stock.

Ultimately, Sepulvado's execution was delayed for at least six-months in order for prison officials to review the "most effective" dosage levels of lethal drugs for its protocol. This delay came shortly after Clayton Lockett's botched execution in Oklahoma, which was carried out using one of the same drugs Louisiana intended to use on Sepulvado.

It's unclear if any actions will be taken against the state in light of this new information. According to Hasselle, "A hospital spokesman hasn't responded to comment when I asked if Lake Charles had any plans to sue the LDOC."

Louisiana state officials have refused to comment on the story, which—let's be honest—shouldn't be all that surprising at this point.

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  1. Before I sympathize with the hospital, I want to know if they provide Abortion services. Not that I believe that Abortion is murder, but I like to see consistency of outrage. Too many on the Trendy Left wrap themselves in the anti-death penalty position, while supporting the State that imposes it, and mocking people who believe that Abortion is infanticide. I have scant patience for such.

    But I’m a Crank.

    1. Pro-choice people do not believe that abortion is equivalent to murder.

      Neither do most pro-life people, incidentally. Only the ones who kill abortion doctors are really putting their money where their mouths are on that one.

      1. Neither do most pro-life people, incidentally.

        And if Tony is not qualified to speak for such people, who is?

        Only the ones who kill abortion doctors are really putting their money where their mouths are on that one.

        So clearly you do not believe in ANY murder, right? I mean you aren’t putting your money where your mouth is by apprehending murderers so you must really favor murder in your heart?

        I wonder if I would die from a heart attack if you ever made an honest argument.

        1. So clearly you do not believe in ANY murder, right?

          Tony would be more than happy to line up AGW deniers and shoot them in the back of the head. After all, because of carbon sinners, the world is coming to an end. Only by cleansing the world of unbelievers can we wash ourselves of carbon sin and be born again into a sustainable new world.

          1. Does Tony self-flagelate every time he drives a car? If not, he needs to put his money where his mouth is.

      2. Somehow I find it hard to believe that el Chony actually knows any pro-lifers.

        Me, I defer to Rev. Ivan Stang of the Church of the Resurrected Yeti Dobbs: “Abortion is murder, but it’s murder in self-defense.”

      3. Tony, when I want the puss that passes for thought with you, I’ll squeeze your head like the pimple it is. In the meantime, sit down and zip it; the adults are talking.

      4. Pro-choice people do not believe that abortion is equivalent to murder.

        Pro-death penalty people do not believe executions are equivalent to murder, either.

        I still don’t understand why executions are so complex and difficult. 1) Put the person under general anesthetic. 2) Do any of the hundreds of things that would kill them: opiate overdose, air bubble embolism, cyanide, nicotine, etc., etc.

        1. Fine, change it to “taking a human life.” The death penalty clearly does that, while there is some disagreement about abortion.

          My point is that if pro-lifers really believe that, they’d say they think women who get abortions should be put in jail for life or get the needle. They rarely say that though.

  2. The death penalty is constitutional just like same sex marriage. Drug companies should be prosecuted for withholding drugs for use in carrying out the death penalty just like the baker in Colorado who would not make a cake for a homosexual wedding reception.

  3. Not that I support the death penalty, but if the state feels the need to use lethal injectoin, why can’t they use eminent domain to purchase the drugs?

    1. The State doesn’t want to attract too much attention to this aspect of what it does. If it was willing to be brutally frank, it would just shoot the prisoner in the back of the head with a large calibre gun.

      I’m of many minds on the death penalty. There are some people who just need to be dead; serial killers, and the like. On the other hand, the State has shown that it cannot be trusted to seek justice instead of scalps.

      At the moment I am slightly in favor of the death penalty, just as soon as Prosecutors who cheat are at risk for it.

      1. I would support making abuse of power a capital crime.

        1. I’m not so sure of that. There are all kinds of petty abuses that should be punished by firing, and loss of pension. But abuse of power that puts somebody at risk of their life? That should be tried as conspiracy to commit murder (using The State as the murder weapon). Mike Nifong should be on death row.

          For ostentatious stupidity and arrogance, if nothing else.

          1. Many seek power just so they can abuse it. No other reason. If abuse of power was punished by death, then perhaps those who currently seek power for the purpose of abusing it might do something else with their lives.

            On the other hand I could see how such punishment could be used against political opponents.

            There never are any good solutions.

    2. Not that I support the death penalty, but if the state feels the need to use lethal injection, why can’t they use eminent domain to purchase the drugs?

      Why can’t they requisition some from the evidence room. Pick a case that’s over, where the drugs involved are scheduled for destruction, and save the cost on both ends.

  4. I’ve never understood why they don’t just use a massive overdose of opioids. Give the condemned 50mg of carfentanyl and they’ll be done in a matter of seconds, painlessly.

    1. Because there’s some unwritten rule in government that prohibits doing things in a cheap and effective manner. You’ve got to remember that government decision makers often know little to nothing about that which they are deciding, and tend to be stupid to boot. I swear a former manager of mine lost ten IQ points when he left us for a government job.

  5. Why not a single bullet to the head? Too cheap?

    1. “Stabbin’ don’t cost nothin’.”

      — Chris Rock

      1. Which shows that Chris Rock – or the Person he is speaking from in that instance – is an imbecile. There are ALWAYS costs. And something that doesn’t cost money is likely to have a very high cost indeed.

        1. He’s making a joke, not writing a scholarly economic analysis.

    2. Too frank. When the death penalty is seriously justified, killing the prisoner is mitigating a dangerous animal. But if the State ever put that proposition before the public the public would collectively have a cow (or so the State believes).

      Of course it would help the State’s position if the State would be a little more careful to make sure that the innocent were not convicted, and that police and prosecutors who tried to railroad the accused were tried and punished.

  6. BFD! if they were convicted of the crime, exhausted their appeals and there is no doubt about their guilt then they should be put to death.

    Can’t have a nation of laws if we don’t follow the sentence of a lawful court. The drug they used is a sedative and pain killer to make the experience easier on the Murderer.
    Perhaps we should skip that altogether and proceed back to hanging or firing squad. Then the hospital won’t have to wring its hands over the loss of a murderer.

    1. there is no doubt about their guilt

      The problem is that it is impossible in the vast majority of cases to determine “no doubt”. Eye witnesses can lie, documentation can be doctored, DNA evidence can be mishandled/misinterpreted; evidence of doubt can be suppressed. It has been shown many many times that agents of the State willingly double-down on a mistaken identity with coverups, lies and fraud, even if that costs an innocent’s life.

      Innocent people have spent decades of their lives in prison for rape because their alleged victims misidentified them. You can’t get much more “no doubt” than that evidence and it’s still inaccurate.

  7. Some people need to die. The idea that we shouldn’t kill those people because the system is messed up is non sense. We should fix the system then kill more people.
    Also “cruel and unusual” should be relative to the crime committed. Please don’t say it’s cruel and unusual to shoot you to death after you just shot someone to death.

  8. Legal execution is dying it’s own death of a thousand cuts as death penalty opponents criticize and eliminate every viable method.

    And let’s be honest, they are not remotely honest about their motives or methods.

    There is no reason or need for these multi drug cocktails. One single agent suffices for millions of lethal injections annually here in the US and it is considered the most humane option. That drug is pentobarbital.

    It also happens to be one of the drugs the antis first eliminated.

    That needs to be undone.

    But if people persist in using other drugs the better option is induction with midazolam followed by a five minute infusion of a paralytic like norcuronium.

    Death will occur long before the infusion is over and within ten minutes after the end of the infusion death can be declared.

  9. I have serious concerns about the state having the power to kill anyone. However, based on this guy’s crimes (in which there is no question he is guilty), I say kill him any way you can. If you have a strong stomach, read about what he did to his six year old step-son.

  10. When did Big Pharma get a conscience? Executions have been botched since man started sentencing them. The 3 drug protocol for execution includes Versed – you may have had it if you have had a colonoscopy. If you don’t remember your colonoscopy you had it. It’s a benzo like xanax or valium and it causes amnesia. Then pentobarbitol it causes paralysis and is enough to kill you if you get enough. When it paralyzes your chest you can’t breath. Then potassium, too much or too little causes your heart to stop and that’s why your doctor’s always looking at your potassium level after you’ve had a heart attack. Some states are going to a single drug protocol and will a use a drug like pentobarbitol, rocuronium bromide, if Big Pharma let’s the states have it.

  11. So this prison, if it’s like every other prison, houses people who have been convicted of possession of drugs (hydromorphone is fairly common on the street). It’s safe to assume they have no qualms about incarcerating those convicted. And yet, the prison is willing to fraudulently (read: illegally) acquire these same drugs to kill a human being, while sending the message to recreational drug users that they need to pay their debt to society? If I were a younger, more naive person, the irony would be shocking.

    How has the.department of….*ahem* “corrections”…. become so divorced from state oversight that they even contemplate resorting to shenanigans in order to commit state sanctioned homicide? This system is beyond broken. Seriously, giving any authority the power to kill is like giving a monkey a loaded gun.

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