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Judge Sides With Death Row Inmates; State Must Disclose Source Of Lethal Injection Drugs

LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — A state judge sided with eight Arkansas death row inmates who argued that the source of lethal injection drugs should be disclosed by...
lethal injection

LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — A state judge sided with eight Arkansas death row inmates who argued that the source of lethal injection drugs should be disclosed by the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen agreed with the death row inmates, who said that the new lethal injection statute, which states the Arkansas Department of Corrections does not have to disclose names and sources of execution drugs, could subject them to unlawful suffering. Griffen ruled that the non-disclosure provision violated the Arkansas Constitution and was unethical, according to court documents.

He gave the order that the sources of all execution drugs must be revealed by the Department of Corrections by noon on Friday (Dec. 4).

The state argued that the inmates had no legitimate need to know the source and names of the drugs, and that disclosure could disrupt the industry. However, the argument was overturned.

“Entities that manufacture, distribute, supply, and market lethal injection drugs are obliged to disclose what they are making, distributing, supplying, and selling,” the judge ruled.

The inmates’ lawsuit challenging the lethal injection statute prompted a temporary stay of executions for the eight death row inmates.The first execution was scheduled for Oct. 21 this year.