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America's Secret Death Penalty Drugs

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Governments have gone to great effort to keep the sources and methods of their death penalty regimes secret.
In November, the Omaha World-Herald sent a simple records request to the Nebraska state government. Along with several other news outlets, the paper wanted to know the source of the drugs to be used in an upcoming execution—the first in the state in more than 20 years.
In the past the Nebraska Department of Corrections would have provided this information, but now it refused. Officials there insisted that the supplier of the drugs the state intended to use, in the name of its citizens, to sedate, paralyze, and stop the beating heart of an inmate were exempt from Nebraska's public record law.
In December the Nebraska chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued to challenge the denial.
Nebraska is just the latest state to decide the executioner's black hood of anonymity also covers the pharmacies that mix the deadly compounds used to kill prisoners. As letha…

Mississippi Senate passes Execution Secrecy Bill

In the future a Mississippi death row inmate's execution and all those involved in the process could be kept from the public.

Senate Bill 2237, introduced by Republican Senator Joey Fillingane, passed Tuesday.

Entitled the "Execution Secrecy Bill", the measure would protect the identities of the execution team, suppliers of the lethal injection drugs and others involved in the execution process.

State Attorney General Jim Hood helped draft the legislation.

He said in reaction to anti-death penalty advocates who have threatened and harassed the companies providing the lethal injections and even the executioner.

"As long as it's the law in Mississippi I've got a duty to carry it out and if there's a method by which I can carry it out without people getting abused; the executioner, the pharmacy that provides the drugs, I think we owe them that protection. It's a state law," said Hood.

Opponents of the Execution Secrecy legislation say the public would not be made aware of the execution process which could possibly be inhumane and not divulge where the drugs were from, how they are administered or their reactions.

We were unable to reach Senator Fillingane and Prisoner Rights Advocates for comment on the execution secrecy bill.

Similar bills have been passed in recent years in Arkansas and Georgia.

Source: WDAM news, Feb. 18, 2016

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