Arkansas Supreme Court Orders Release Of Execution Drug Labels

LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas’ highest court has ruled state prison officials must identify the manufacturer of one of the lethal injection drugs they plan to use to put a convicted murderer to death Nov. 9.

Thursday (Nov. 2), the state Supreme Court upheld part of a lower court’s ruling ordering the Department of Correction to release the labels for its supply of midazolam, one of three drugs Arkansas uses in its lethal injection process. The court said the labels must be released, but said a Pulaski County judge must determine what identifying information other than the manufacturer can be withheld.

A Pulaski County judge in September ordered the state to release the labels without any information withheld, but justices halted that ordered while the state appealed. Arkansas law keeps the supplier of its execution drugs secret.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge responded to the ruling and stated, “The Arkansas Supreme Court has correctly concluded that the lot, batch and control numbers on lethal injection drug labels should remain confidential under state law.  While the Attorney General does not agree with other aspects of the Court’s ruling, she is pleased that the Court agreed with her arguments on this point.”