"Legislative proposal would shield source of Ohio lethal injection drugs, protect experts," is by AP Legal Affairs Writer Andrew Welsh-Huggins.
The names of companies whose drugs are used for lethal injection in Ohio would be shielded under legislation introduced Monday in a move some lawmakers hope will restart capital punishment in the state.
The legislation would also bar companies from entering into contracts prohibiting states from acquiring drugs for executions, and it would protect the identities of anyone involved in executions in Ohio.
The Republican-backed legislation, sponsored by state Reps. Jim Buchy and Matt Huffman and pushed by prosecutors, would also prevent information about a lethal injection drugmaker or distributor from being disclosed in court.
"Legislation introduced adding secrecy to executions," is by Alan Johnson of the Columbus Dispatch.
Legislation that Attorney General Mike DeWine and county prosecutors say is needed to move forward with executions in Ohio, but which would add a new level of secrecy to the process, was introduced today in the General Assembly.
State Reps. Jim Buchy, R-Greenville, and Matt Huffman, R-Lima, said House Bill 663 "will update current law pertaining to capital punishment by lethal injection through issuing confidentiality for persons and entities involved in the procurement of lethal injection drugs. It also voids agreements that prevent the supplying of any drug or combination of drugs to be used in executing a punishment by lethal injection.
The Republicans lawmakers said in a statement that the proposal "follows findings issued by the Joint Task Force to Review the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty." However, the proposal, as written, includes none of dozens of recommendations made by the committee.
"Ohio lawmakers looking to keep execution drug sources secret," is by Marc Kovac of Dix News Capital Bureau, via the Wooster Daily Record.
Executions have been on hold for most of the year, after a federal judge stayed scheduled lethal injections while state prison officials consider changes to the execution process.
In August, U.S. District Court Judge Gregory L. Frost ruled "the state of Ohio and any person acting on its behalf is hereby stayed from implementing an order of execution of any Ohio inmate issued by any court of the state of Ohio until Jan. 15, 2015 or until further order from the court."
Frost issued a comparable stay earlier in the year, following the prolonged death of Dennis McGuire in January and a subsequent decision by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to increase the dosage of two drugs used in lethal injections.
McGuire, who received a capital sentence for the rape and murder of a pregnant Preble County woman, was the first inmate executed using a new two-drug combination. The process took about 25 minutes, and witnesses described him gasping for breath.