Time posts, "States Try Secrecy to Protect Lethal Injection Drugmakers," by Josh Sanburn.
States carrying out lethal injections have had to find new ways to execute inmates in recent years. Many have not only experimented with multiple untested drug combinations but have also turned to previously unused pharmacies. And they’ve increasingly tried to block the identity of those drugmakers in order to keep a steady supply of drugs flowing.
A handful of states, including Arizona, Georgia, Missouri and Oklahoma, have passed secrecy laws to protect the anonymity of pharmacies, which fear backlash if it becomes public that they’re providing drugs for executions. Ohio—home to a lethal injection earlier this year that was widely considered botched—may be next.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said this week that it’s unlikely executions in the state would proceed unless the legislature provided anonymity for compounding pharmacies and immunity for physicians involved in executions.
"DeWine: Law change needed before executions resume," by Benjamin Lanka in the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum.
Ohio will not perform another execution until the state legislature addresses concerns over lethal drugs, Attorney General Mike DeWine said this week.
DeWine, speaking to a group of Gannett Ohio newspaper editors, said because certain companies no longer want their drugs to be sold for execution purposes, the state must change the law to allow the drugs to be formulated anonymously.
"At this point, we're not going to see a death penalty take place, I don't think, until we see some changes in regard to this specific problem," he said Monday.
In response to DeWine's comments, Sen. Edna Brown, D-Toledo, said she hoped the legislature will go beyond trying to fix the state's "extremely flawed execution process."
"I hope the General Assembly will instead take this opportunity to seriously reevaluate why our state continues to pursue capital punishment cases in the first place," she said in a statement.
"AG Says He Doesn’t Expect Executions To Resume As Scheduled In February," is by Karen Kasler for Ohio Public Radio, via WCBE-FM. There is audio at the link.
Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine said in an interview before a newspaper editorial board that he now doubts that next execution, that of Ronald Phillips on February 11, will happen. His spokesman Dan Tierney says DeWine doesn’t expect executions to resume until some changes are made by lawmakers – first of all, guaranteeing anonymity for pharmacies that would make that single drug the state wants to use.
“The drugs being used in executions are not being provided to the department. And so one possible source could be compound pharmacies, but allowing the compound pharmacies and the pharmacist that compound the drugs to remain anonymous.”
WVIZ-TV/WCPN-FM's ideastram posts, "DeWine Says He Doesn’t Expect Executions to Resume as Scheduled in February," by Karen Kasler.
At first, advocates against execution were pleased to hear DeWine say he doesn’t expect any more executions for a while. But Kevin Werner with Ohioans to Stop Executions said that excitement faded when they heard the changes that DeWine was talking about.
“That’s a change that we think takes Ohio in the wrong direction,” Wener said. “But certainly we all agree that if the death penalty is going to remain part of Ohio’s law, that it has to be fair, it has to be accurate.”
Earlier coverage from Ohio begins at the link.