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Entries in drug (3)

Wednesday
Aug032011

NY Lawmaker Says Parents Should Be Required to Give Kids Drug Tests

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- One Long Island, New York lawmaker thinks it's a parent's responsibility to determine whether or not if their child is taking illegal drugs.

In fact, Republican Assemblyman Joseph Saladino says if a parent isn't interested enough to find out, their teenager shouldn't be allowed to attend high school.

To that end, Saladino has introduced a measure that would make it mandatory for parents to administer annual drug tests to their high school-aged youngsters.

Saladino says, "Ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades -- the parent has to sign a form that is handed into the school district that states they have conducted a drug test on their child, and that they have seen the result."

The outcome would remain private, meaning it would be up to parents to decide how to deal with a child if the results are positive for drugs.

If no signed form is turned in, Saladino says schools can keep a child from attending class.
Saladino was prompted to craft the bill following a rash of drug overdoses of teens on Long Island. Vic Ciappa, who lost his daughter to heroin, says he fully supports the plan.

Others, including civil libertarians and some parents, believe requiring parents to perform drug tests on their kids is a clear invasion of privacy -- especially if not doing so potentially hinders a student's education.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May252011

Arizona to Carry Out Inmate's Execution with Substitute Drug

David J. Sams/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Hours before the scheduled execution of an Arizona death row inmate, the Department of Justice informed the state on Tuesday that it should not use a controversial drug as part of the execution protocol because the state had illegally obtained the drug from a foreign source.

The last-minute move stunned lawyers for convicted murderer Donald Beaty, who had argued for months that Arizona hadn’t been in compliance with federal law regarding the importation of sodium thiopental, one of the three drugs commonly used for lethal injection executions.  The drug is no longer manufactured in the U.S. 

Arizona had consistently argued that it had properly obtained the drug.

In a filing with the Arizona’s Supreme Court, the state’s Attorney General said that it in order to "avoid questions about the legality" of the drug it had decided to comply with the request from United States Associate Deputy Attorney General Deborah A. Johnston.

In the filing, it said it would substitute another fast-acting barbiturate -- pentobarbital -- for the sodium thiopental.  The decision was made about 18 hours before Beaty’s scheduled 10 a.m. execution on Wednesday.  Arizona law allows it to change its protocol without the hearings and legislative review required by some other states.

Long before the surprise announcement from Arizona’s prison, Dale Baich, Beaty’s public defender, had contacted the Department of Justice seeking guidance as to why the Drug Enforcement Agency had seized the drug from five other states this year but not Arizona.

Beaty was sentenced to death in 1985 for the brutal murder of Christy Ann Fornoff, who was 13 years old and on her paper route when she disappeared.  Beaty was convicted for her rape and murder.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar162011

Drug Shortage Disrupts Lethal Injection Mix

David J. Sams/Getty Images(AUSTIN, Texas) -- Prison officials in two states have been forced to take dramatic measures in the past 24 hours because one of the drugs used to carry out executions by lethal injection is no longer manufactured in the United States.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Wednesday that because its supply of sodium thiopenthal has expired, it will change its three-drug protocol. Effective immediately, pentobarbital will now be substituted for sodium thiopenthal, officials said.

Both drugs are used to induce a coma-like unconsciousness. They are normally followed up in Texas by pancuronium bromide, which paralyzes the inmate, and potassium chloride, which induces cardiac arrest.

Texas has executed more death row inmates than any other state. There are 337 inmates on death row there, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, which is opposed to the death penalty.

Meanwhile, the Georgia Department of Corrections was forced to turn over the state's entire supply of sodium thiopenthal to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration after the agency expressed concern that the state may have improperly imported the drug from a foreign supplier.

Confirming the seizure, a DEA spokesman said the agency acted because of "compliance-related issues" with the importation of the drug.

Georgia has no executions scheduled.

Of the 34 states that allow the death penalty, 31 use sodium thiopenthal.

The lone U.S. supplier of the drug stopped production in 2009, which caused states to scramble to find a new supplier or change their protocols.

Death row inmates and their lawyers have raised questions about whether the drug should be imported from foreign sources at all or whether states are allowing enough time to test new protocols.

Texas chose to change its protocol. Officials say the change will be in place for the April 5th scheduled execution of Cleve Foster. Foster was convicted and sentenced to death for the 2003 murder of Nyanuer "Mary" Pal. Foster's lawyer, Maurie Levin of the University of Texas Capital Punishment Center, is furious. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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