The shameful Correction Department | Arkansas Blog

Friday, February 4, 2011

The shameful Correction Department

Posted By on Fri, Feb 4, 2011 at 6:09 AM

Death Row inmates are pressing a claim — so far unrefuted — that states including Arkansas have relied on a virtually bootleg (and dubious) source for the chemical used in executions. It's a ghoulish tale because of the potential side effects of bad chemicals. But what's outrageous is the Arkansas Correction Department's response to a Democrat-Gazette request for information about the supplier of the drug the state of Arkansas has purchased to kill people. The state won't say. It claims — though the point is arguable — that a state law providing some shield on execution practices allows it to withhold information. That law itself is a shameless curtain thrown up by a state that knows full well how chilling transparency might be to the legalized killing process.

But most outrageous was prison spokeswoman Dina Tyler's explanation for the secrecy offered the undercover drug pushing:

Releasing the information “could subject the retailer, the wholesaler or the manufacturer to protest,” Tyler said. “We’re trying to avoid that.”

So there you have it. The state of Arkansas cares more about protecting a business described as a ramshackle British operation run out of the back of a driving school than it cares about informing Arkansas citizens on the integrity of its killing operation.

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