ADC Pushes Back Against Judge’s Order To Reveal Lethal-Injection Drug Labels

LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) -- The Arkansas Department of Corrections is pushing back against a Pulaski County judge's order asking the state to share information about its lethal-injection drugs.

Arkansas attorney general Leslie Rutledge filed an emergency motion with the Arkansas Supreme Court on Friday (March 31) asking to stay Pulaski County circuit judge Wendell Griffen's order to disclose the labels on lethal-injection drugs.

During a hearing on March 30, Griffen ordered the ADC to release unredacted package inserts and labels within 30 minutes after the hearing.

However, the ADC argued that the drug's labels are not subject to Freedom of Information Act laws because the information could be used to identify the ADC's seller or supplier. The ADC is required to keep the identities of drug suppliers confidential under the Arkansas Method-of-Execution Act.

After Griffen's order on Thursday, the ADC provided a redacted label for potassium chloride, and an unredacted copy of the package insert. The redacted label hid the lot/batch/control numbers so that it would not identify the supplier.

The ADC could face contempt for providing a redacted label, according to Rutledge's motion. It states that the anonymity provision is the only way sellers and suppliers are even potentially willing to provide lethal drugs to the ADC.

Arkansas is scheduled to execute eight inmates over 10 days starting on April 17.