Court upholds Georgia’s execution-drug secrecy
GEORGIA – On Monday a Georgia law that shrouds lethal-injection drugs in secrecy was upheld by the state’s highest court.
According to NBC News, two justices expressed concern the policy could lead to a repeat of the botched Oklahoma execution.
Convicted murderer Warren Lee Hill argued he has a constitutional right to know which compounding pharmacy is preparing the drugs that will be used to kill him.
The court concluded that keeping the name of the pharmacy secret would protect the business and its workers from harassment and retaliation.
One of the dissenting judges, Robert Benham, cited the April 29 execution of Clayton Lockett using drugs obtained under a similar veil of secrecy.
Benham wrote, “I fear this State is on a path that, at the very least, denies Hill and other death row inmates their rights to due process and, at the very worst, leads to the macabre results that occurred in Oklahoma.”
Lockett’s execution has halted lethal injections in Oklahoma and prompted the White House to order a top-level review of how states administer capital punishment.
Because some pharmaceutical companies have refused to sell their products for executions, a number of states have turned to compounding pharmacies.
NBC News says prison officials are anxious to keep the pharmacy names under wraps to protect them against protests and lawsuits.