- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A New Orleans public interest group has sued the Mississippi Department of Corrections over what it said was the agency’s failure to comply with public record request on the state’s procedure for carrying out executions.

The Clarion-Ledger reports (https://on.thec-l.com/1w1dckP ) the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center filed the lawsuit this past week in Hinds County Circuit Court.

The center said it requested records in a dozen categories, but MDOC provided 10 heavily-redacted pages of documents. It said MDOC didn’t disclose the identity of vendors supplying drugs used in lethal injections or a written explanation - as required by law - of what Public Records Act exemptions were used to black out information.

MDOC also didn’t explain whether its failure to provide other documents was because the records don’t exist or because access was denied, the center said.

The MDOC has not responded to the lawsuit.

Lawyers from the center argue corrections officials are hiding from the public “important details of the state’s infliction of the most serious and irrevocable penalty against one of its citizens.”

The McArthur Justice Center and other organizations have alleged that recent botched injection executions have raised concerns about the manufacturers of the drugs and the mix of drugs used in executions.

“We have no reason to believe MDOC is capable of executing a citizen any more humanely than has been done recently in other states,” said Jim Craig, co-director of the MacArthur Justice Center.

Last year, the McArthur Justice Center sued MDOC on behalf of two then-death row inmates arguing the state was buying drugs used in executions that are locally mixed and not from a primary manufacturer and could be counterfeit, contaminated or have other problems. That lawsuit asked a judge to bar executions of the inmates until the state proves the integrity of the drugs.

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Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, https://www.clarionledger.com

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