Arkansas Asks To Block Subpoena For Inmate's Autopsy Records

Jun 12, 2017

Kenneth Williams
Credit Arkansas Department of Correction

Arkansas officials are asking a federal judge to block an effort to subpoena records related to the autopsy of an inmate who lurched and convulsed 20 times during his execution.

Kenneth Williams was put to death by lethal injection April 27.

The Arkansas State Crime Lab on Friday asked U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to quash the subpoena public defenders challenging the state's execution procedures had issued for detailed records related to Williams' death.

The lab's attorney said the federal public defenders need to get authorization under a federal health privacy law for the records' release. The lab said it could otherwise face a lawsuit from Williams' estate.

Baker blocked Arkansas' executions, but that order was later overturned. The state put four men to death in April.