Last week, the Associated Press issued a new report about Arkansas’s search for drugs to be used for lethal injection, coming to the conclusion that the supply of double-secret death drugs recently obtained by the Arkansas Department of Correction likely came from a subsidiary of Pfizer. In a nod to the increasing difficulty of finding and buying drugs to legally kill people on purpose, the legislature passed a law last year that made all information about where and how the state gets their execution drugs secret. 

For the long answer on why — and the dicey lengths states will go to in order to keep the machinery of death running — read this new report from, “The Sordid Ways Death-Penalty States Obtain Execution Drugs.” The report includes details of Alabama officials visiting every compounding pharmacy in the state unsuccessfully trying to cajole pharmacists into mixing them up a little sumpin’ for their execution chamber, and Texas, Arizona and Nebraska paying $80,000 to a businessman to try and retrieve a supply of sodium thiopental from India, which was later confiscated by the FDA.