A federal appeals court has upheld a protective order shielding the state of Ohio from having to disclose the names of those who make or use the state’s lethal-injection drugs, reports Cleveland.com. In a 2-1 decision on Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that a district court judge was justified in issuing the secrecy order on the grounds that it was needed to protect lethal-injection drugmakers from public intimidation and harassment. The lawsuit, brought by more than 65 death-row inmates, contended that the state shouldn’t be allowed to use drugs obtained from anonymous suppliers and evaluators.
Gov. John Kasich had delayed the resumption of executions until Feb. 15, starting with convicted child killer Ronald Phillips of Akron. It’s unclear whether that revised schedule will stay in place now that the appeals court has ruled. Ohio hasn’t executed anyone since January 2014, when killer Dennis McGuire took 25 minutes to die from a previously unused execution drug combination.