The Latest: Trial ends in case over execution information
Jul. 26, 2017
PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on a trial over access to execution information in Arizona (all times local):
An Arizona prisons official says companies will no longer sell drugs that will be used to carry out the death penalty for fear that their businesses would be harmed.
Carson McWilliams says it got more difficult over the years to find companies to sell drugs to the state, even though a law protects their identity from being revealed.
McWilliams testified at a trial over whether Arizona must reveal its source of lethal-injection drugs and the qualifications of its executioners.
News organizations argue the public has a First Amendment right to information that would help determine whether executions are carried out humanely.
The one-day trial ended Tuesday afternoon.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow didn't say when he would issue his ruling.
An expert witness testifying at a trial over whether Arizona must reveal its source of execution drugs says the state isn't giving the public enough information to determine whether the death penalty is being carried out properly.
Dr. David Waisel, professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School, testified Tuesday at a trial in which news organizations are trying to reveal Arizona's source of lethal-injection drugs and qualifications for its executioners.
Waisel is a witness for The Associated Press and other news organizations that filed a lawsuit seeking the information.
He says the state's chemical analysis of execution drugs isn't enough to help the public understand whether the drugs work as intended and the extent to which a condemned prisoner feels pain.
A lawyer for news organizations says Arizona needs to provide more information about its execution drugs to help the public determine whether it's effective in carrying out the death penalty.
Attorney David Schulz says Arizona isn't giving enough information about executions.
The Associated Press and other news organizations filed a lawsuit seeking the information after the 2014 death of condemned inmate Joseph Wood, who was given 15 doses of a two-drug combination over nearly two hours before he died.
The trial over access to the execution information began Tuesday.
Jeffrey Sparks, an attorney representing prison officials, says some information about executions must be kept confidential for prison officials to carry out a key duty of their jobs.
Opening statements are scheduled Tuesday at a trial over whether Arizona must reveal its supplier of execution drugs and the qualifications of people who carry out the death penalty.
The Associated Press and other news organizations filed a lawsuit seeking the information after the 2014 death of Joseph Rudolph Wood.
Wood was given 15 doses of a two-drug combination over nearly two hours in what his attorney called a botched execution.
The news organizations argued that the release of the information helps the public determine whether executions are carried out humanely and promotes public confidence in the criminal justice system.
State law prohibits the disclosure of information that would identify anyone serving on an execution team. The state says that confidentiality extends to suppliers of the drugs used.