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Filing Seeks To Expedite Execution Information Suit

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(via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)
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This gurney is used to perform executions at a facility in Terre Haute, Ind. by lethal injection. A federal judge has rejected a challenge by Missouri prison inmates to the state's execution procedure.

A motion for judgment has been filed in a lawsuit accusing the state of violating Sunshine Laws for refusing to provide information related to Missouri executions.

The filing seeks to expedite a lawsuit filed earlier this year by stating there is no dispute in the core facts of the case, which calls on the court to order the Department of Corrections to release details about the drugs used in lethal injections. It also seeks to identify the pharmacies and laboratories that create and test the drugs.

It states that manufacturing execution drugs is "significantly different and removed from their administration by the DOC" and does not "provide direct support for the administration" of a death sentence. Therefore, the state's position that the information is shielded by the so-called “Black Hood Law” is not valid, the motion contends.

The Black Hood Law is designed to protect the identities of persons who administer the lethal doses and those who provide support for executions.

The lawsuit was filed earlier this year by St. Louis Public Radio Reporter Chris McDaniel, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri.

The case follows numerous Freedom of  Information requests by McDaniel and fellow St. Louis Public Radio Reporter Véronique LaCapra, who is not party to the lawsuit. 

The two identified an Oklahoma source as a supplier for executions late last year.

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Credit via Google Maps
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The Apothecary Shoppe was not licensed for business in Missouri. Another supplier has been used for executions this year, but information about that business has not been made public.

The document filed Tuesday seeks a quick decision from the court.

You can read more about the case in this story by St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann & The Associated Press.

Wayne is the morning newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.