Death Penalty Rats Try to Hide in Shadows

Opponents of capital punishment in the United States have had some success in pressuring the companies that make the drugs used in lethal injections.

Just this week, Oklahoma had to delay two executions because of a shortage of pentobarbital, which it uses in executions. The manufacturer of pentobarbital, Netherlands-based Lundbeck, banned the sale of the drug for use in executions after a public outcry in that country.

In response, some states that still allow capital punishment are considering laws that would prevent disclosure of the drugs used in lethal injections and the names of suppliers who provide those drugs. The Alabama House, for example, approved a bill that would amend the state’s capital punishment statue to include the following,

The name, address, qualifications, and other identifying information of any person or entity that manufactures, compounds, prescribes, dispenses, supplies, or administers the drugs or supplies utilized in an execution shall be confidential, shall not be subject to disclosure, and shall not be admissible as evidence or discoverable in any action of any kind in any court or before any tribunal, board, agency, or person. The same confidentiality and protections shall also apply to any person who participates in an execution or performs any ancillary function related to an execution and shall include information contained in any departmental records, including electronic records, that would identify the person.

Gotta keep that death machine moving any way they can.

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