Latest Developments: Moore Executed By Lethal Injection

August 14, 2018 - 10:02am

Nebraska's first execution since 1997 took place Tuesday morning. Carey Dean Moore, who killed two Omaha cab drivers in 1979, was executed by lethal injection and died at 10:47 a.m. CT.  Here's the latest (all times local):


Tuesday 5:05 p.m.

A Nebraska death row inmate's execution was briefly hidden from the media's view after prison officials say the last of four lethal injection drugs was administered.

The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services said the drug was administered at 10:24 a.m. The prison warden lowered a curtain over the media's viewing window at 10:39 a.m. and raised it again about 14 minutes later.

Department Chief of Staff Dawn-Renee Smith says the curtain was lowered after the execution team notified Department Director Scott Frakes that the last drug had been injected.

Smith says Frakes and Acting Warden Robert Madsen waited in the execution room for five minutes to ensure the drugs had taken effect before summoning the county coroner to confirm Carey Dean Moore's death.

Moore was declared dead at 10:47 a.m. The viewing curtain was lifted again about six minutes later to reveal Moore's body and remained open for 40 seconds.

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Tuesday 2:40 p.m.

Nebraska's first execution since 1997 drew very few protesters to the state prison in Lincoln.

The holding area outside the Nebraska State Penitentiary was mostly empty around 10 a.m. Tuesday as death-row inmate Carey Dean Moore was killed by lethal injection.

A combined total of less than a dozen death penalty supporters and opponents gathered in the rain while the execution took place.

Death penalty opponents have planned a 5 p.m. rally outside the Nebraska Capitol.

The light turnout stands in contrast to the 1994 execution of Harold Lamont Otey, when more than 1,000 people created a raucous, party-like atmosphere. Otey was executed shortly after midnight in the electric chair, and some in the crowd sang the song "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" after it was announced.

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Tuesday 1 p.m.

A Nebraska death-row inmate remained mostly still but breathed heavily and gradually turned purple while state prison officials carried out his execution.

Four media witnesses including an Associated Press reporter saw Carey Dean Moore taking short, gasping breaths Tuesday after the lethal injections started.

His breaths then became deeper and more labored. His chest heaved several times before it went still. Over the course of several minutes, his face turned a slight shade of red and then purple. His eyelids briefly cracked open.

The Department of Correctional Services administered the first of the four drugs in the state's lethal injection protocol at 10:24 a.m. Moore was declared dead at 10:47 a.m.

Moore was sentenced to death for the 1979 murders of two Omaha cab drivers.

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Tuesday 11:10 a.m.

Nebraska has carried out its first execution since 1997 with the lethal injection of Carey Dean Moore, who fatally shot two cab drivers almost four decades ago.

Moore was executed Tuesday with a combination of four drugs that had never been used before in an execution in the United States, including the powerful opioid fentanyl. The execution also marked the first lethal injection in Nebraska.

Moore was one of the nation's longest-serving death row inmates. His death comes about three years after Nebraska lawmakers abolished the death penalty, only to have it reinstated the following year through a ballot initiative partially financed by Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts.

A German pharmaceutical company tried to block the execution by alleging the state had illicitly obtained at least one of its drugs. A federal judge refused to stall the execution.

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Tuesday 12:01 a.m.

Nebraska is preparing to carry out its first execution since 1997 on Tuesday in a bewildering about-face driven largely by the state's Republican governor.

Carey Dean Moore, 60, is scheduled to be executed at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln with a never-before-tried combination of drugs. Moore was condemned to die for the 1979 shooting deaths of two Omaha cab drivers, Maynard Helgeland and Reuel Van Ness Jr., and is one of the nation's longest-serving death row inmates.

Gov. Pete Ricketts, a wealthy former businessman, helped finance a ballot drive to reinstate capital punishment after lawmakers overrode his veto in 2015. His administration then changed Nebraska's lethal injection protocol to overcome challenges in purchasing the necessary drugs and withheld records previously considered public that would identify the state's supplier.

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Monday 6:10 p.m.

Death penalty opponents say they have gathered more than 60,000 signatures calling on Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts to stop the state from carrying out its first execution since 1997.

Organizers submitted the petition to Ricketts on Monday after several last-ditch legal efforts failed to halt the execution .

Death-row inmate Carey Dean Moore is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 10 a.m. Tuesday for the murders of two Omaha cab drivers in 1979.

Death penalty opponents say letting the execution proceed runs afoul of the Catholic Church's recent statement that capital punishment is unacceptable in all cases.

Ricketts has argued he's carrying out the will of voters who chose to reinstate capital punishment after the Legislature abolished it in 2015.

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Monday 4 p.m.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska is asking the state Supreme Court to delay the state's first execution in more than two decades.

The ACLU filed the request Monday, saying the execution should be delayed until the court hears arguments in a separate case focused on the Legislature's 2015 vote to abolish capital punishment.

The ACLU argues that even though the 2015 law was later undone by voters, the law changed death-row inmates' sentence to life in prison.

The organization represents eight Nebraska inmates on death row. But not Carey Dean Moore, who is scheduled to die Tuesday by lethal injection.

The ACLU request appears to face long odds. A district judge rejected the argument in February, and the Nebraska Supreme Court has denied other recent attempts to postpone the execution.

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Monday 12:35 p.m.

A German pharmaceutical company says it won't ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene after losing an appeal in a case that threatened to block Nebraska from carrying out its first execution since 1997.

Drug company Fresenius Kabi recently filed a lawsuit accusing Nebraska prison officials of improperly obtaining its drugs for lethal injections. The company said it doesn't want its drugs used in executions and asked a federal judge to prevent the state from doing so Tuesday.

The judge refused, and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision Monday.

An attorney for Fresenius Kabi said later Monday that the company won't pursue an additional review with the nation's highest court.

That means Carey Dean Moore is still scheduled to be executed Tuesday for the 1979 shooting deaths of two Omaha cab drivers.
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Monday 11:30 a.m.

A federal appeals court has rejected a German pharmaceutical manufacturer's attempt to prevent Nebraska from executing a death-row inmate using drugs that the company says it produced.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a federal judge's ruling to let the execution of inmate Carey Dean Moore proceed as planned Tuesday.

The drug company, Fresenius Kabi, contends in a lawsuit that using the drugs for a lethal injection would harm its reputation.

But the appeals court agreed with U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kopf's conclusion that postponing the execution would frustrate the state's interest in carrying out the execution. One of the four drugs in Nebraska's execution protocol expires Aug. 31, and the state says it can't get more.

Moore was sentenced to death for the 1979 shooting deaths of two Omaha cab drivers.
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Monday 11 a.m.

Three years after Nebraska lawmakers voted to abolish capital punishment, the state is preparing to carry out its first execution since 1997 in an about-face driven largely by the state's Republican governor.

Carey Dean Moore is scheduled to be executed Tuesday for the 1979 murders of two Omaha cab drivers. Two drug companies are trying to halt the execution, arguing the state say may be using their drugs.

Gov. Pete Ricketts helped finance a ballot drive to reinstate capital punishment after lawmakers overrode his veto and abolished the death penalty in 2015.

His administration then changed Nebraska's lethal injection protocol to overcome challenges in purchasing the necessary drugs. It also withheld records previously considered public that would identify the state's supplier.

Ricketts argues he was fulfilling the wishes of voters.

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