States Refusing to Disclose Suppliers of Hard-to-Get Execution Drugs


States that impose the death penalty have been facing a shortage of the drugs used in executions, says ProPublica. California, with the largest death row population, is unlikely execute anyone for three years, in part due to the shortage of appropriate lethal drugs. Ohio, second to Texas in the number of executions since 2010, said it will run out of the drug it uses in executions, pentobarbital, on Sept. 30. Every state’s supply of pentotbarbital expires at the end of November. States are seeking new suppliers or different drugs, and enacting changes to public records laws to keep the names of suppliers and manufacturers of those alternative drugs secret. Each time a state has found a new source for a drug to use in executions, Reprieve, an anti-death penalty organization based in London, in collaboration with U.S. death penalty lawyers, has used freedom of information laws, the local news media, and the powers of persuasion to compel the drug’s manufacturer to cut off the supply. States, including Georgia, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Tennessee, are taking measures to keep anti-death penalty activists, and journalists, from learning the identity of suppliers.

Comments are closed.