As promised, a lawsuit has been filed challenging the new law on the state lethal injection procedure.
Attorney Jeff Rosenzweig, who defends people on Death Row, commented:
Two years ago, the State of Arkansas made an agreement with us in which the State promised to provide us with information as to the source and content of the drugs which it plans to use to execute persons. This law blatantly reneges on that agreement. This action is explicitly barred by the Arkansas Constitution and numerous judicial decisions. No court is going to allow the State to go back on its agreement. No pharmacist should rely on the anonymity this bill purports to provide. Any pharmacist’s identity certainly will be revealed in the course of this litigation. The prisoners, the press and the citizenry of Arkansas are entitled to know the drugs that the State intends to use in its executions. The vetting of compounded drugs necessarily entails the vetting of the compounding pharmacy.
Rosenzweig said this lawsuit would result during the last days of the session. It didn’t prevent the bill’s adoption. Gov. Asa Hutchinson was asked about his plans on this bill, now awaiting his signature. He said he had many bills to consider. He said the state would move carefully on restarting the death penalty process and he mentioned the potential for legal action. With this challenge, executions won’t resume soon.