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Mississippi to resume executions after struggling to find lethal drugs for 9 years

Mississippi to resume executions after struggling to find lethal drugs for 9 years
The inmate said he was “worthy of death”

Mississippi will resume executions after a nine-year hiatus caused by lack of access to lethal injection drugs.

David Neal Cox is scheduled to die on Wednesday, more than a decade after he shot Kim Kirk Cox, his wife at the time, and sexually assaulted their daughter in front of her three times. Ms Cox was forced to watch the assaults as she bled out and died over the course of several hours.

Cox, 50, said he was “worthy of death” and has chosen not to fight his execution.

Like other death penalty states, Mississippi had difficulty finding the drugs necessary to carry out lethal injections, resulting in a nine year moratorium on executions.

According to court filings, the Mississippi Department of Corrections has acquired a source for lethal injection drugs. When The Associated Press asked where the state sourced the drugs, Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain refused to answer.

“The law said that we don’t have to disclose it,” Mr Cain said.

A decade ago, European pharmaceutical company Lundbeck refused to distribute lethal injection drugs to US states that engaged in executions, and the European Union banned member countries from exporting lethal injection drugs to the US.

Donald Trump resumed federal executions in 2020 after the Justice Department under his administration obtained lethal injection drugs that were at least partially sourced from US manufacturers. Less than a year later, Mississippi and Oklahoma have also restarted their execution programmes after struggling for years to find lethal injection drugs.

Cox has not tried to fight his death sentence, going so far as to instruct his defence team not to file appeals on his behalf.

On Tuesday, Krissy C Nobile, the director for the Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel, said that after “considerable and difficult deliberation, and out of respect for David Cox’s autonomy and stated desire”, they would no longer file appeals on his behalf.

Lindsey Kirk, Cox’s 23-year-old stepdaughter, is scheduled to be among those who will watch him die. She was 12-years-old when Cox sexually assaulted her in front of her dying mother. Ms Kirk told the AP that Cox had been sexually assaulting her for years before that and threatened to kill her and her whole family if she said anything about the abuse.

Some have questioned whether or not Cox was involved in the disappearance of his brother’s wife, Felicia Cox, in 2007. Ms Cox’s daughter, Amber Miskelly, recently claimed to WTVA-TV that Cox was the last person to see her mother alive.

Cox is scheduled to die at 6pm on Wednesday.