It almost made me cry when I read it last week. Today, the 16th of December 2011, the EU will restrict the sale to the United States of sodium thiopental – one of the main active substances needed for lethal injections. Pressured by NGOs, human rights activists and – last not least and to surprising amazement – our former Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (currently Minister of Economics and Technology) played a not to be underestimated role in that. I’m far from being a fan of Rösler’s Free Democratic Party FDP, who used to be a quite left winged liberal party in the 70ies and transformed to an economically liberal party these days. Not only is Rösler Asian and YEAH! finally proving that we Germans of course have totally overcome racism and war (yep, we got a female chancellor and we got Wolfgang Schäuble, federal Minister of Finance and paraplegic! – few racist murders in the last ten years certainly only being a hiccup of history), he, Rösler, young of age, seems also to have made in the sodium thiopental case some smart moves. Surprise.
Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote earlier this month:
Approximately 100 people are executed by American authorities every year. But in the past few months, supplies of the drug have become scarce.
The only manufacturer based in the US, Hospira, is unwilling to continue to make its product available for lethal injections, and under American law it is not allowed to simply change the injection “recipe.” To do that, a complicated approval procedure is required. So authorities — who have been postponing executions as a result of the difficulty in finding supplies — have been seeking other sources such as those in the EU.