Nebraska has become the first state to use fentanyl, an opiate involved in many opiate overdose deaths in the US, to execute death row inmmate Carey Dean Moore. Amid the difficulties faced by states in obtaining drugs used for execution, they've been looking for alternatives. In addition to fentanyl, which is fifty times more potent than heroin
, the state used diazepam, better known a Valium--both to render Moore unconscious--and cisatracurim besylate to induce paralysis, for the first time as execution drugs. These, along with potassium chloride, used to induce cardiac arrest, which has been regularly used by states in executions, made up a four-drug battery used by the state of Nebraska to execute Moore. States like Texas had used a three-drug combination to execute prisoners, a barbiturate, either sodium thiopental or pentobarbital, for the rendering of unconsciousness, pancuronium bromide for the induction of paralysis, and potassuim chloride for the induction of cardiac arrest. Press witness Bill Schammert with KOLN reported that there appeared to be no complications in the process and described the execution in his facebook page
10:31 - Chest stopped moving. Brief large expansion of diaphragm, but no struggle noticed
10:34 - Moore’s face turns red, then purple, no change in facial expression.
10:39 - Curtain closed. Whole process took 15 minutes
10:53 - Curtain back open. Time of death is 10:47.
What I don't get is why the executioners closed the curtain during the execution process and opened the curtain about ten minutes after Moore had been declared dead by the county coroner.