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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Media Giants Sue Over Execution Secrecy

Glad to see today that The Guardian, AP and three Missouri newspapers--in the wake of the recent botched execution in Oklahoma--are launching "landmark" suit to end secrecy on death penalty protocols.  Here's Guardian story with link with key graphics.  The suit "calls on state judges to intervene to put a stop to the creeping secrecy that has taken hold in the state in common with many other death penalty jurisdictions.

The lawsuit argues that under the first amendment of the US constitution the public has a right of access to know “the type, quality and source of drugs used by a state to execute an individual in the name of the people”
It is believed to be the first time that the first amendment right of access has been used to challenge secrecy in the application of the death penalty.
Deborah Denno, an expert in execution methods at Fordham University law school in New York, said that more and more states were turning to secrecy as a way of hiding basic flaws in their procedures. “If states were doing things properly they wouldn’t have a problem releasing information – they are imposing a veil of secrecy to hide incompetence.”
My recent book vs. the death penalty with history and current debate. 

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