"Ark. death row inmates want execution drug records," is the AP report by Jeannie Nuss, via the San Antonio Express-News.
Six death row inmates asked a court this week to order the Arkansas Department of Correction to turn over documents about lethal injection drugs under a public records request.
Attorney Jeff Rosenzweig filed paperwork Monday in Pulaski County also asking the court to declare that all available information about the origin, history and quality of lethal injection drugs must be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act.
"Not only the condemned people, but the people in the state of Arkansas have a right to know what's being done in their name," Rosenzweig told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Rosenzweig said a fellow attorney, Josh Lee, asked correction spokeswoman Shea Wilson for records related to lethal injection drugs earlier this month. But according to Rosenzweig's lawsuit, Wilson said the department didn't have any new information to release under the state's new lethal injection law.
Lee wrote back to Wilson, saying he took her response to mean that she had records responsive to his request and that she was refusing to disclose them because of an FOIA exemption in the lethal injection law.
The Arkansas News Bureau reports, "Inmates seek release of information on lethal-injection drugs."
Attorney Jeff Rosenzweig said Tuesday he filed a lawsuit in Pulaski County Circuit Court on Monday after the Department of Correction did not, in his opinion, fully comply with a request submitted under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
A law enacted earlier this year sets forth the types of drugs that the Department of Correction can use for lethal injections. The law was a response to a state Supreme Court ruling last year that the previous lethal-injection law gave too much discretion to the DOC director, in violation of the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers.
Also, Rosenzweig and other attorneys representing a group of death-row inmates whose executions had been stayed because of the Supreme Court ruling asked the Supreme Court on Monday to deny a motion by the state to lift the stays.
Rosenzweig said it is not entirely clear whether the new lethal-injection law has cured the problems identified by the Supreme Court.
“I think most would agree it reduces the separation-of-powers problem. I don’t think it necessarily fully solves it. A court will have to decide,” he said.
Earlier coverage of Arkansas lethal injection issues begins at the link.