14 Feb 2011

Executed man's mother urges ban on exports profiting from death penalty

The mother of a US death row inmate who was executed with British-supplied drugs is to call for a ban on exports that support capital punishment overseas when she appears before MPs.


Patches Rhode believes her son, Brandon, died in agony from a lethal injection in a Georgia prison because the UK-sourced anaesthetic, sodium thiopental, appeared not to have been effective.

Her grief has been sharpened by the revelation that the drug which enabled the execution to go ahead was sold by a small-scale pharmaceutical wholesaler, Dream Pharma, that operates out of a driving school office in the west London suburb of Acton.

"I was under the impression that Great Britain is against the death penalty and that any exports [aiding it] would be illegal," she said. "I didn't know that [the government] allowed such drugs to leave the country."

Lord Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions who is chairman of the anti-capital punishment charity Reprieve, is demanding legislation to block exports that profit from or help deliver the death penalty.

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