Texas prison system stalls release of public information on executions

Submitted by YanqiXu on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 9:26am

Earlier this month, defense lawyers claimed Texas was botching its executions with old drugs. Now, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has stalled the release of information on how many lethal doses the state has and when they expire.

The cloud of secrecy surrounding Texas executions has grown a little darker lately.

After death penalty defense lawyers claimed the state’s first two executions of the year were botched because of old lethal injection drugs, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has stalled the release of public information regarding the state’s supply of lethal doses. Without providing a reason, the department told a Texas Tribune reporter last week that it would take an estimated 20 business days — until the day before the state’s next scheduled execution — to provide information on how many lethal doses the state has and when they expire.

In the past, the records have been provided in half the time, and even that could be unlawful. The Texas Attorney General’s Office handbook on the state’s public information law says that a governmental body must produce public information promptly, without delay. The handbook says it is a “common misconception” that agencies can wait 10 business days before releasing the information, as the Department of Criminal Justice has regularly done in the past regarding execution drugs. Read more...