New Death Penalty Issue: Disclosing Identities Of Participants


Ohio is at the center of the latest national debate involvng the death penalty: Should executioners’ identities be protected?, says the Associated Press. The American Civil Liberties Union raised the question with a wide-ranging request for records seeking information on the May 24 execution of an inmate whose veins took 90 minutes to find and whose death came a record-setting 16 minutes after the toxic drugs began to flow.

The ACLU and other death penalty opponents say they have cause for seeking complete information on people carrying out state-sanctioned deaths by injection. They point to Dr. Alan Doerhoff, a participant in Missouri’s execution process who was shown in media reports to have been sued for malpractice more than 20 times. Richard Dieter of the Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes the death penalty, said the public can’t properly judge the effectiveness of capital punishment without information on those carrying it out. “Public executions should be as public as possible,” he said. “They supposedly have nothing to hide, and as with anything government does, it benefits from more scrutiny. For medical personnel, yes, there may be a cost. But that’s sort of like the cost that the state, or all of us, bear.”


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