Do drugs stockpiled by Arkansas for use if and when executions resume include products of a British firm that has said it doesn’t want its drugs used in executions?

The Associated Press’ Claudia Lauer reports evidence that some of Hikma Pharmaceutical’s drugs may be in the Correction Department’s hands and the company wants them back. But the Correction Department is relying on a new execution secrecy law to refuse to provide the AP, the drug company or anyone information about the execution process. It won’t even confirm the drug company has tried to get information from prison officials, but been refused.

It is serious enough that the state is in the killing business. A government conducting the killing business in secrecy is another order of concern. You’d think the nominal conservatives who now control Arkansas government would have some philosophical objections to this sort of unchecked government power over life and death. But no. They passed the law.

Steve Barnes, writing for Reuters, reported earlier on Arkansas’s purchase of drugs and a lawyer for condemned inmates objecting to the state’s secrecy in the process.

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