A bill designed to restart executions in the Arkansas by allowing an alternative lethal injection procedure and hiding the source of the drugs was endorsed by a Senate panel.
The Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs advanced the bill to the full Senate in a voice vote Tuesday. It would allow the Department of Correction to use a combination of three drugs or a barbiturate for executions. The agency would also be barred from releasing who makes or supplies the drugs.
Defense attorneys say the secrecy provision in the bill violates a previous contract with the state and that death row inmates will sue if it is passed.
An attorney general spokesman has said that agreement shouldn't prevent the Legislature from amending the law.