Arkansas judge says state must disclose execution drug info

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas judge says prison officials must release the package label from a recently acquired lethal injection drug, saying manufacturers don't enjoy the same secrecy as others under the state's execution procedures.

Lawyer Steven Shults says Arkansas' Freedom of Information law requires disclosure. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Mackie Pierce on Tuesday rejected the state's argument that privacy granted to drug sellers and suppliers in Arkansas' execution law also extends to manufacturers.

Arkansas recently acquired enough midazolam to conduct two executions, and one is set for November 9. Shults previously won access to the package inserts for potassium chloride, another execution drug.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said she "respectfully disagrees" with the decision, believing Judge Pierce should have stayed until the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled on "similar litigation."

She plans to file an emergency stay of Pierce's decision from the Arkansas Supreme Court.

The Associated Press previously used labels to identify the likely manufacturers of Arkansas' execution drugs. Lawyers for the state said in court Tuesday they don't want another similar disclosure.

© 2017 Associated Press


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