DEATH CHAMBER State wants more secrecy.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson yesterday said he backed a law change to increase secrecy of drugs used in executions. The reason is to avoid identifying sources of drugs because manufacturers don’t want their drugs used for killings.

Arkansas is having difficulties obtaining execution drugs except by illicit means. That’s OK with the Arkansas Supreme Court which has found ways around two separate court rulings — one controversial because death penalty foe Judge Wendell Griffen made it, the other by Judge Alice Gray — in favor of drug distributors that objected to use of drugs in executions. The Supreme Court has ruled, however, that the law currently allows some release of manufacturer information that can lead to tracing the source of killing drugs.


Note that a court challenge is underway in Nevada similar to the one waged in Arkansas by a drug company objecting to use of its product in an execution there. Nevada follows the same three-drug protocol that Arkansas uses.

Alvogen says it doesn’t want its product used in “botched” executions. It said in court documents that Nevada prison officials illegally obtained the sedative midazolam and demanded that it be returned and not used in Dozier’s execution.

“Midazolam is not approved for use in such an application,” the document said, adding uses of midazolam in other states “have been extremely controversial and have led to widespread concern that prisoners have been exposed to cruel and unusual treatment.”

Arkansas won’t say how it obtained drugs but the drug distributor that sued them accused them of dishonest means. What’s a little lying to enable state killing?