The Food and Drug Administration has filed an appeal of the judicial opinion entered by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon for the District of Columbia that blocks the use of sodium thiopental in executions. 

In the decision, 21 Death Row inmates from a number of states won a fight to stop the use of sodium thiopental.  The drug had been okayed by the FDA as an anesthetic drug to be used before the fatal injection was used in the lethal injection method of execution. 

Judge Leon warned, in his opinion, that the FDA had created a "slippery slope" that would allow the use of untested drugs in executions.  He also had some serious language regarding the actions and intent of the FDA and after characterizing the drug at issue as "misbranded" and "unapproved," he banned its import as well as ordering any states with the drug in its execution drug inventory to forward that stock to the FDA.

State Attorneys General Ask U.S. Attorney General to Appeal Leon’s Decision

In response, the attorneys general for over a dozen states wrote the U.S. Attorney General asking that Leon’s decision be appealed to the appropriate federal appellate court for review. 

Read the Attorneys General letter to Eric Holder here.

Eric Holder, as the U.S. Attorney General, apparently agreed with these state AGs because now Leon’s decision has been taken up for review.