Nebraska’s Department of Correctional Services informed death row inmate Jose Sandoval, 38, on Thursday that the state has selected the four-drug lethal injection protocol that will be administered to carry out his capital punishment, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. Attorney General Doug Peterson, NE, selected Sandoval as the first death row inmate for execution following a 20-year break from the state’s last death by electrocution. In 1997, Robert E. Williams was put to death.

State voters brought back death penalty, about to ‘get it very shortly’

Bill Gallup is a criminal defense lawyer who has previously represented death row inmates. He stated that taxpayers wanted the death penalty and “they’re going to get it very shortly,” according to WOWT.

Following the state’s legal mandate, the corrections official Scott R. Frakes notified Sandoval of the death cocktail drugs, which have not been used previously in U.S. executions. Dawn-Renee Smith, a spokeswoman for the corrections department enumerated the drugs Nebraska intends to blend its lethal injection protocol: diazepam, a sedative; fentanyl; cisatracurium, a paralytic; and, lastly, potassium chloride.

Last year, state voters approved reinstating the death penalty, which had been abolished by legislators.

Governor Pete Ricketts stated that Peterson’s announcement of the lethal drugs slated for executing Sandoval brings the state a step closer to “carrying out the sentences ordered by the court,” the Washington Post reported.

Gallup is not a proponent of the death penalty but said, “If it’s there, I guess you have to use it,” WOWT noted.

He also stated the availability of the “right drugs” needed to blend a death cocktail has been a problem.

Nebraska Attorney General waits 60-day period to request death warrant

The state’s Attorney General hasn’t requested an execution warrant for Sandoval from Nebraska’s Supreme Court. There is a 60-day waiting period from when the condemned inmate was apprised that death drugs have been obtained before the state’s high court can grant a death warrant.

Sandoval’s death evolved from five murders following a bank robbery on September 26, 2002. The Attorney General’s office issued a statement, noting, “Sandoval’s crimes were captured on video.” The footage shows Sandoval shooting Evonne Tuttle, 37, Jo Mausbach, 42, and Samuel Sun, 50. Two of Sandoval’s accomplices shot and killed bank employees Lisa Bryant, 28, and Lola Elwood, 43.

Condemned killer responsible for seven murders

In addition to the five Norfolk bank robbery victims, the condemned inmate also admitted guilt to the murders of Travis Lundell and Robert Pearson, Jr.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Sandoval and Lundell were former roommates. Pearson was Lundell’s friend. They were murdered prior to the bank robbery and were buried in graves near Norfolk, NE.

For Lundell’s and Pearson’s killings, Sandoval was given two life sentences.

When he pleaded guilty to the murders, he reportedly said, “I did this because it was the right thing to do, according to the Star. In sum, Sandoval had a crucial and central role in the murders of seven people in Nebraska. He directly murdered five people and orchestrated the murders committed at the bank during the robbery.

Death row inmate abandons tale of taking LSD, seeing Smurfs in bank crime

The convicted killer refused to speak with the Star about the bank killings or the killings of Lundell and Pearson in 2008, but he did state in court, during his testimony, that on the morning of the Norfolk bank murders he took LSD and “saw blue Smurfs behind the teller counter,” the Star reported.

He also said, however, that, in 2008, he abandoned standing by his earlier testimony.

The executive director of the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, Jeffery Pickens, stated that Sandoval “has to be given some type of opportunity to challenge” the death penalty, the Post wrote. Since the advocacy group has already represented accomplices in the Norfolk bank robbery crime, Pickens explained that the conflict prevents the group from also defending Sandoval. Condemned inmate Jose Sandoval is currently a resident of Tecumseh State Correctional Institution