Nebraska prisons head: State can't buy execution drugs again

Delaying the execution of a longtime death-row inmate would likely prevent the state from ever carrying out the sentence because officials can't purchase any more of the necessary lethal injection drugs, Nebraska's prisons director acknowledged Thursday.

Corrections Director Scott Frakes said in a sworn statement that the pharmacy that supplied Nebraska's current batch of drugs is unwilling to sell the state any more. He said he has contacted at least 40 potential suppliers in six states, and only the current supplier would provide them.

The affidavit came in response to pharmaceutical company Fresenius Kabi's lawsuit alleging that the state intends to use their drugs improperly. The company strongly opposes the use of its drugs for capital punishment, and claims state officials obtained their product illegally. Frakes said the state procured the drugs lawfully.

A federal judge is expected to rule today on whether to temporarily prohibit the state from using the drugs in its possession for the execution of Carey Dean Moore, who was condemned to die for the 1979 murders of two Omaha cab drivers.