Arkansas lawmakers vote to expand execution drug secrecy

April 03, 2019 - 5:50 pm

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers have sent the governor legislation expanding the secrecy surrounding the source of the state's lethal injection drugs, over the objections of press groups, pharmaceutical companies and death penalty opponents.

The House voted 71-16 on Wednesday for a bill prohibiting the release of any information that directly or indirectly would identify the maker or supplier of Arkansas' execution drugs. The Senate-backed measure now heads to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who plans to sign it into law.

Arkansas doesn't have any executions scheduled, and the state's supply of the three lethal injection drugs it uses has expired. Prison officials have said they won't search for any replacements until the secrecy law is expanded to include the drug's manufacturers.

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