MO AG Cites “Creeping Secrecy” On Lethal Injections, Seeks In-House Lab


Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says he has the answer to bringing transparency to the state's execution process: Establish a state laboratory to make lethal injections in house, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Lethal injection relies upon an uneasy cooperation between medical professionals who assist in the executions, pharmaceutical companies that provide the chemicals, and the state,” Koster said. “In recent years, this cooperative arrangement has become so strained that continued use of lethal injection as the preferred execution method is currently being reconsidered in several states.”

This month, news organizations sued the Missouri Department of Corrections to compel it to release information about the drugs the state uses for injection executions. The news organizations had each requested records regarding the drugs, including the supplier, and were denied by the department, which said the pharmacy providing the drugs is a member of the execution team, whose identities are confidential under state law. Koster indicated he was not comfortable with the “creeping secrecy.” He said it “may not be prudent, and it merits the attention of state policymakers.” Asked whether the names of people who run the state lab would be public, Nanci Gonder, a spokeswoman for Koster, said: “The intent of bringing the lab in-house is that the identities of those who are manufacturing the chemicals will not have to be concealed.”

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