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Media Giants Sue Over Secrecy Surrounding US Executions | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

Media Giants Sue Over Secrecy Surrounding US Executions

A demonstration against the death penalty in Texas

A demonstration against the death penalty in Texas (photo credit: Alex Hannaford)

Glad to see that The Guardian, the Associated Press and three Missouri newspapers—in the wake of the recent botched execution in Oklahoma—are launching a “landmark” suit to end secrecy on death penalty protocols.

Here’s the Guardian story with link to valuable and key graphic adds. See list of states (such as Texas) with most executions and how they “hide” source of chemicals and more. For Texas: “The Texas attorney general’s office has previously indicated that such information should be available to the public, but the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has not complied with open-records requests seeking drug details.”

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The suit—read the paper work here—“calls on state judges to intervene to put a stop to the creeping secrecy that has taken hold in the state in common with many other death penalty jurisdictions.” More:

The lawsuit argues that under the first amendment of the US constitution the public has a right of access to know “the type, quality and source of drugs used by a state to execute an individual in the name of the people”

It is believed to be the first time that the first amendment right of access has been used to challenge secrecy in the application of the death penalty.

Deborah Denno, an expert in execution methods at Fordham University law school in New York, said that more and more states were turning to secrecy as a way of hiding basic flaws in their procedures. “If states were doing things properly they wouldn’t have a problem releasing information—they are imposing a veil of secrecy to hide incompetence.”

My recent book vs. the death penalty with history and current debate.

Read Next: Greg Mitchell: “BagNews Compiles Shocking Visual Evidence of Cecily McMillan Injustice.”

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