St. Louis Public Radio posts, "Missouri Swore It Wouldn’t Use A Controversial Execution Drug. It Did." It's by Chris McDaniel. There are documents, audio, and infographics at the link. Here's teh beginning of this detailed must-read:
In Ohio, the execution took 26 minutes, as the inmate gasped and snorted. In Oklahoma, it took 43 minutes until a conscious inmate died of what the state said was a heart attack. In Arizona, it took nearly two hours, with the inmate "gulping like a fish on land."
The three worst botched executions this year had at least one thing in common: The states all used a drug called Midazolam to sedate the inmate, with varying levels of success.
Botched executions in other states led to questions in Missouri, a state as secretive as the others. Top Missouri officials were asked about the state's methods. They defended their own protocol each time, pointing out that Missouri doesn’t use the same drugs as those other states.
But an investigation by St. Louis Public Radio shows that wasn't entirely true.
According to documents we obtained, Missouri has used Midazolam in every execution since November of last year. In all nine executions since then, Missouri's execution team has injected the condemned with significant amounts of the sedative.
This is occurring in spite of the fact that Missouri's top corrections officials testified Midazolam would never be used in a Missouri execution.
"ACLU Demands Info on Execution Witnesses," is by Joe Harris for Courthouse News Service.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed another lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Corrections, seeking information on state-selected execution witnesses.
The ACLU and two people sued the Missouri DOC on Tuesday in Cole County Court. It is the sixth lawsuit ACLU has filed against the Missouri DOC, involving the state's execution protocol.
"Troubled by the secrecy surrounding Missouri's execution process and Missouri's use of execution witnesses to vouch for its narrative that those killed by the state do not suffer, plaintiffs began investigating the process by which such witnesses are selected," the complaint states.
The ACLU says it submitted a written request for public records on May 2 to the Missouri DOC's Custodian of Records. It sought records identifying invitees of the DOC to witness scheduled executions in the past 12 months; the records of the responses from those invitees; all records of requests by the public or the media to witness executions in the past 12 months; all records of consideration of those requests; and all records of actual witnesses to executions in the past 12 months.
"So far, all we have received are a handful of heavily censored documents," said ACLU legal director for Missouri Tony Rothert said in a statement.
Earlier coverage from Missouri begins at the link.