The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas today condemned a proposal to conceal the identities of lethal injection drug manufacturers from the public. The proposal would expand a 2015 state law that keeps the suppliers of drugs secret by making the drug manufacturers and labels off-limits to the public as well. Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the measure was needed because drug manufacturers do not want to “jeopardize their business because of protests.”The state Board of Correction yesterday held off formal approval of the legislative idea. It decided to seek an attorney general's opinion first.
“The death penalty is a broken process that needs to be abolished – not shrouded in secrecy and shielded from accountability,” said Rita Sklar, ACLU of Arkansas Executive Director. “Just a year after a gruesome killing spree in which the government may have put at least one innocent man to death and tortured another, this proposal would make the state’s execution process even less transparent and more prone to abuse. Arkansans have a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent and who is making these drugs. Governor Hutchinson’s job is to serve the people of Arkansas – not protect the reputations of drug companies. We urge the Board of Corrections to reject this dangerous proposal and stop this reckless rush to kill.”
As reported by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Gov. Hutchinson said that “Any retailer, supplier does not want to jeopardize their business because of protests or awareness of where that supply chain comes from, so one breach of the supply chain jeopardizes the whole thing.”