State Medical Board Ends Investigation into Execution Drugs

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) — The Arkansas State Medical Board will not pursue an investigation into how the drugs used to execute four inmates were obtained.

At their full meeting Thursday, board members unanimously voted to take the case for information, which essentially closed the investigation, barring any new information.

The board was investigating the purchase of one of the execution drugs, vecuronium bromide, after allegations that a state-licensed doctor procured it fraudulently.

Board attorney Kevin O’Dwyer said he didn’t find any evidence of a violation by a doctor because none were involved in obtaining the execution drug.

“We have looked at all of the court documents, the evidence that was presented in the circuit court case,” O’Dwyer told the board. “I’ve called numerous attorneys who were involved in that case. I didn’t have any information that doctor was involved at all in obtaining the drugs. The scope of our investigation related only to our licensee.”

Under Arkansas law, doctors can participate in the execution process. The court case questioned whether the state improperly used the doctor’s name and license to obtain the drug.

The Arkansas Department of Correction denied those claims. 

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