- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Proposed legislation to broadly expand the secrecy surrounding Idaho executions has been put on hold in the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee.

Sen. Marv Hagedorn told The Spokesman-Review (http://bit.ly/1AootU1 ) Monday evening that he’s not ready to grant a hearing to the bill from the Idaho Department of Correction. Hagedorn, a Republican from Meridian who is acting chairman of the committee, said he heard from several people who were concerned about the bill.

“I talked to a number of people, and many people, including myself, had some concerns about the breadth and scope of the legislation,” Hagedorn said. “Even the department came in and said, ‘Yeah, we do maybe need to re-look at that.’ I think it’s just not ready for prime time.”

The bill would have made it illegal for the department to turn over execution records in response to subpoenas or other preliminary legal inquiries. It also would have specifically kept any documents involving the source of lethal medications used for executions confidential and exempt from release under the Idaho Public Records Act.

The bill, introduced on Jan. 21, also would have kept secret “any information where the disclosure of such information could jeopardize the department’s ability to carry out an execution.”

The Idaho Department of Correction has previously denied public records requests from The Associated Press for shipping labels, receipts and other documents associated with Idaho executions and the lethal drugs used for executions. In those public record request denials, department officials cited a rule found in the Idaho Administrative Procedure Act. That rule also states that the department will not disclose any information that would jeopardize the department’s ability to carry out an execution; the department’s proposed bill would have expanded the rule and added it to the state’s Public Records law.

“It was good to get it out there and to get some people talking about it and to get the concerns laid on the table,” Hagedorn said. “And now we’ll take that, and maybe they’ll come back next year with something a little more amenable.”

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

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