Texas again might be running out of a key drug used to execute its condemned criminals, says the Austin American-Statesman. Prison officials said they have enough to carry out the next six scheduled executions. What happens after that might be anyone’s guess, thanks to a new no-disclosure policy imposed by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice on details about the execution drugs.
Two years ago, the prison system revealed its drug supplier and the amount of drugs on hand after Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued an opinion saying it was public information. The prison system had sought to keep the information secret, arguing that releasing details about the drug supply might trigger violent protests outside the execution chamber or embolden death penalty opponents. Officials say a state Supreme Court ruling could have changed the situation. The case, filed by the American-Statesman and other newspapers, sought travel vouchers for the governor’s security detail under the Texas Public Information Act. The court ruled that safety concerns might trump laws mandating public disclosure of information that reveals how a government spends taxpayer money.