- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 29, 2014

After recent legal scuffles with journalists and condemned inmates over information about where and how execution drugs are made, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has a suggestion: bring the drug manufacturing in-house.

“Lethal injection relies upon an uneasy cooperation between medical professionals who assist in the executions, pharmaceutical companies that provide the chemicals and the state,” Mr. Koster said in a speech to the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, as reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He added that the arrangement has become so strained that some states are considering switching to different preferred execution methods.

Missouri currently buys execution drugs from secret compounding pharmacies, a process under the shield of state law. Several newspapers and other groups recently sued in attempt to make the drug purchases more public. If the state manufactured the drugs, the identities of the manufacturers would not be concealed, creating more transparency in the execution process, a spokeswoman for Mr. Koster told the Post-Dispatch.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, which was one of the groups that sued for disclosure of the pharmaceutical companies, said it was “encouraged” by Mr. Koster’s call for transparency but suggested that the state explore alternative sentences, like life without parole.

 

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