Texas executed murderer Tommy Lynn Sells last night after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to issue a stay to allow lawyers time to investigate the source and quality of the lethal drugs used put their client to death, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Lawyers have been asking the courts to force Texas corrections officials to disclose details about the lethal drugs it intended to use to carry out executions. “The expanding practice of hiding execution methods and drug sources from scrutiny only increases the risk that executions will violate the Eighth Amendment,” Philadelphia lawyer Maurie Levin and Jonathan Ross of Houston told the high court.
The Justices are expected today to consider the lethal drug disclosure issue in a different case during their private conference. That case involves a Louisiana death row inmate, Christopher Sepulvado, whose lawyers argue that he has a due process right to know how the state is planning to put him to death. The lawyers say the state must also disclose the name of the company that provided the execution drugs and demonstrate that the drugs will achieve their lethal objective without causing excessive pain and suffering.