The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports, "Louisiana legislator pulls bill to keep death penalty drugs confidential," by Julia O'Donoghue.
State Rep. Joe Lopinto, R-Metairie, has decided to scrap his legislation to keep the source of death penalty drugs confidential in Louisiana. The measure was sailing through the Louisiana Legislature, but opposed by defense attorneys, government transparency groups and journalists.
"I didn't know where this was going to lead us," said Lopinto, "We've had two botched executions [in other states] since [the legislation was introduced]."
Under the measure, the source of the death penalty drugs would not only have been kept secret, but the Louisiana Department of Corrections would have been allowed to purchase the medication from out-of-state pharmacies for the first time.
"Louisiana shelves execution secrecy law," is by Ed Pilkington for the Guardian.
A bill in Louisiana that would have given the state one of the toughest execution secrecy regimes in the US has been pulled by its Republican sponsor at the last minute.
Observers had expected the bill, HB 328, to go through without difficulty. It had already received the approval of both houses of the state legislature and was awaiting final agreement on amendments. Among its provisions HB 328 would have prevented the public from knowing the source of the state's lethal injection drugs.
But with just hours to go before the end of the assembly's legislative session its proposer, Joe Lopinto, killed the bill unilaterally. He told reporters from local papers that he had decided in the wake of the recent uproar over botched executions in other states to play a longer game.
“We passed a resolution today to study this issue. There’s no reason for us to rush through and pass piecemeal legislation that will only be a short-term fix for something that needs a long-term solution,” Lopinto told the Shreveport Times.
He added: “Why make Louisiana spend a whole bunch of money defending court cases when other states are doing that as we speak?”
As the Baton Rouge Advocate notes, the Louisiana 2014 legislative session ended yesterday.
Earlier coverage from Louisiana begins at the link.