Texas has a new batch of the drugs it uses to execute death row inmates, allowing the state to continue carrying out death sentences once its existing supply expires at the end of the month, reports the Associated Press. Correction officials won’t say where they bought the drugs, arguing that information must be kept secret to protect the safety of its new supplier. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice refused to say whether providing anonymity to its new supplier of the sedative pentobarbital was a condition of its purchase.
The decision to keep details about the drugs and their source secret puts the agency at odds with past rulings of the state attorney general’s office, which has said the state’s open records law requires the agency to disclose specifics about the drugs it uses to carry out lethal injections. “We are not disclosing the identity of the pharmacy because of previous, specific threats of serious physical harm made against businesses and their employees that have provided drugs used in the lethal injection process,” said criminal justice department spokesman Jason Clark. The dispute in the state that executes more inmates than any other comes as drug makers, many based in Europe, have stopped selling pentobarbital and other substances used in lethal injections to U.S. corrections agencies because they oppose the death penalty.