Idaho Supreme Court: State Must Clarify Executioner Drug Source

Boise, Idaho (AP)-Prison officials in Idaho must submit information about where they used the deadly injections used in recent executions, the Supreme Court ruled Friday Was given. ..

The High Court ruling was a victory for Professor Aliza Cover of the University of Idaho, who is studying how the public interacts with the death penalty. She submitted a request for public records to the Idaho Correctional Authority in 2017, requesting enforcement-related documents. The department mostly rejected the request and sent her a 49-page document and a link to information on the website about the execution protocol.

However, Idaho prison officials provide receipts and receipts and other information that show where the state obtained and how much they paid for the lethal injections used in the last two executions. He had over 2,000 pages of documents related to her request, including.

Prison officials have long said that if their suppliers believe they could be exposed, they are afraid they will not be able to get the drug for future executions. It was. Large pharmaceutical companies have refused to sell medicines to the states if they are believed to be used for executions, and in some states newer supplies, such as dispensing pharmacies and medicines from other countries such as India. You need to find the source.

Court battles in other states ended when courts ordered prisons to disclose information about suppliers, including this year’s Nebraska. Since 2011, more than 12 states have passed legislation banning the disclosure of information about the source of their active drugs. Meanwhile, some other states have enforced existing laws or regulations to keep that information confidential.

In Idaho, Cover, represented by the state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a lawsuit in 2018 for a document. Last year, the judge stood by her side and said prison officials had to submit a lot of information, including a named document. A drug supplier used in Richard Albert Brown’s 2012 run.

The judge said information could be disclosed as the dispensing pharmacy that provided the drug was unable to supply Idaho because it could not comply with current regulations. However, the ruling states that another document containing the identity of the drug supplier used to execute Paul Ezra Rhodes in 2011 could allow the company to provide drugs for future executions. He said it could be withheld.

Both sides have appealed. A coalition of media outlets, led by the American Bar Association and the Idaho Press Club, tried to provide a brief explanation to a court friend to order the State Supreme Court to disclose information, but the judge did not allow it.

In unanimous opinion on Friday, the High Court cites the administrative rules Idaho used to justify denying much of the information as a reason to withhold the document as it has nothing to do with the Public Records Act. He said he couldn’t.

“We are reviewing our views and have no comments,” said Jeff Ray, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections, in an email.

The document will be returned to a lower court judge for review before it is released. The Supreme Court said the cover said she hadn’t asked for that information, so the judge could edit any information that would reveal individual members of the state’s execution team. ..

There are eight death penalty prisoners in Idaho. All of them still have pending appeals and none have been assigned a run date. Since the state of Idaho enacted a new death penalty law in 1977, only three people have been executed in the state, including Levitt, Rhodes, and Keith Eugene Wells in 1994.

Cover called the High Court ruling a “victory of transparency.”

“Every Aida Juan should have access to information about how the death penalty is carried out in their name,” she said in an email.

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Idaho Supreme Court: State Must Clarify Executioner Drug Source

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