Arkansas Judge: State Must Disclose Execution Drug Details

Sep 19, 2017

The Arkansas Death Chamber
Credit Arkansas Department of Correction

An Arkansas judge says prison officials must release the package label from a recently acquired lethal injection drug, saying manufacturers don't enjoy the same secrecy as others under the state's execution procedures.

Lawyer Steven Shults says Arkansas' Freedom of Information law requires disclosure. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Mackie Pierce on Tuesday rejected the state's argument that privacy granted to drug sellers and suppliers in Arkansas' execution law also extends to manufacturers.

Arkansas recently acquired enough midazolam to conduct two executions, and one is set for Nov. 9. Shults previously won access to the package inserts for potassium chloride, another execution drug.

The Associated Press previously used labels to identify the likely manufacturers of Arkansas' execution drugs. Lawyers for the state said in court Tuesday that they don't want another disclosure.