Arizona has not executed anyone since 2014 after the execution of Joseph Wood took two almost hours. The state was confronted to difficulty to procure the requested lethal drugs, especially the anesthetics. However, the solution proposed now is controversial and not possible: the inmates facing the death penalty are now permitted to supply their own lethal drugs.
In fact, their lawyers should procure the substances for their clients as long as they get them from a “certified manufacturer or supplier” but nobody can legally obtain these drugs or legally transfer them to the Department. Dale Baich, of the Federal Public Defender’s Office told the media that this plan “calls for actions that are both illegal and impossible.” At the same time, this update to the state’s execution protocols has been slammed by critics as “unprecedented,” “absurd,” and even illegal. “Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, we cannot imagine a way to obtain the drug. Those that obtain controlled substances illegally, go to prison,” he added. Megan McCracken, a lethal injection expert at the University of California Berkeley School of Law, called this plan “unprecedented, wholly novel and frankly absurd.” It was not clear what will happen in the next step.