- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - With two executions pending this month, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Thursday his office is willing to provide details about the drugs being used in lethal injections, including dosage protocols and independent test results, but will not name the supplier.

Pruitt said the names of the compounding pharmacies now being used must be kept confidential so Oklahoma can obtain the drugs needed to execute inmates.

“Confidentiality matters,” Pruitt said.

Oklahoma has secured the drugs it needs to execute two men this month - Clayton Lockett on April 22 and Charles Warner on April 29. But the two inmates sued the state in February to learn more about the drugs that would be used to kill them.

“The state is not trying to hide anything. The state is not trying to act in a covert fashion,” Pruitt said, flanked by family members of two murder victims. “These protocols are published online. They’ve been disclosed to the defendants. These tests have been run, and efficacy has been determined.

“I question, with all that being provided, why the defendants are pressing to know who the source is.”

Attorneys for Lockett and Warner said they have serious concerns about the use of secret compounding pharmacies to make the drugs.

“It’s all information we have to be able to have and to evaluate, but should not have it dumped on us at the last minute, to make sure these drugs are what they purport to be,” said Madeline Cohen, an attorney for Warner.

Pruitt said he is investigating an email that his office perceived as a threat to a compounding pharmacy. The email, presumably sent to The Apothecary Shoppe in Tulsa included a passage that read “it only takes one fanatic with a truckload of fertilizer to make a real dent in business as usual.” Pruitt suggested the email was an attempt to intimidate the pharmacy.

Several other law enforcement agencies, however, told the AP his office has never mentioned it. Federal, state and local law enforcement officials in Oklahoma City and Tulsa told the AP no one had informed them about the threat to that facility or other pharmacies. All said they are not investigating that or any other threat made against pharmacies that supply execution drugs.

Lawyers for Oklahoma said this week that Lockett and Warner will be executed with the sedative midazolam, the paralytic pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride, which stops the heart. Although a similar combination has been used in Florida, that state used a 500 mg dose of midazolam, while Oklahoma plans to use a 100 mg dose.

Attorneys for Lockett and Warner say that risks a “lingering and torturous death from suffocation.” Pruitt disagreed.

“We say 100 milligrams is going to the job. It’s the anesthetic that puts you to sleep, and the testimony we’ve received says that if you get 100 milligrams of it, you go to sleep doggone quick,” Pruitt said.

Pruitt said the lower dosage also will ensure the state maintains an adequate supply for future executions.



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