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Friday, Apr 27, 2018
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Anti-death penalty activist presses state for lethal drug info

In the wake of Oklahoma’s botched execution, the head of a Florida anti-death penalty group has asked the state for information about its lethal injection drugs.

Sheila Meehan, chair of Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty, Wednesday sent a public-records request to the Department of Corrections, records show.

She asked for copies of “purchasing orders, prescriptions, contracts, invoices, bills, payments,” as well as the names of makers and distributors of the drugs the state uses.

The department acknowledged the request the same day and told her it was “under review.”

Corrections officials, however, have previously refused to disclose how much of the execution drugs the state has or where it gets them.

Corrections Department spokeswoman Jessica Cary previously told a Tampa Tribune reporter that information about sources or supplies was confidential under state law.

Clayton Lockett, 38, an Oklahoma death row inmate, reportedly writhed and appeared to struggle during his lethal-injection execution on Tuesday. The execution was halted but Lockett later died of a heart attack.

A four-time felon, Lockett was convicted of shooting 19-year-old Stephanie Neiman and watching as two accomplices buried her alive in 1999. Neiman and a friend had interrupted the men as they robbed a home.

Oklahoma was using a new lethal drug combination for the first time. It now uses midazolam as one of the drugs – the same drug that Florida uses in its executions.

Florida uses a three-drug cocktail of midazolam, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride to knock out, paralyze and stop the heart of a prisoner.

In September, Corrections Secretary Mike Crews wrote to Florida Gov. Rick Scott, saying he had reviewed the state’s lethal injection procedure and found it “compatible with evolving standards of decency.”

This post also includes information from The Associated Press.