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Ohio challenges FDA over legality of importing lethal-injection drug


COLUMBUS, Ohio — With two dozen scheduled executions in limbo, Ohio has sent a forceful letter to Washington asserting that the state can obtain a lethal injection drug from overseas without violating any laws.

The letter sent Friday by state prisons officials to the Food and Drug Administration stops short of suggesting that Ohio is moving forward to obtain the powerful anesthetic sodium thiopental. But it challenges the FDA's earlier warning that importing the restricted drug could be illegal.

Ohio hasn't executed anyone since January 2014, when condemned killer Dennis McGuire gasped and snorted repeatedly during a 26-minute procedure with a then-untried two-drug method. Ohio abandoned that method in favor of other drugs it now can't find.

The letter comes as Ohio has scheduled its first subsequent execution for January.

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