Arkansas Prison Board Delays Execution-Drug Proposal

LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas prisons board officials are holding off from endorsing staff-proposed legislation that would help conceal the identities of makers of the state’s execution drugs.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Board of Corrections Chairman Benny Magness pulled the drug-secrecy proposal from the board’s agenda on Wednesday, saying he first wants to hear Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s opinion.

The decision came a day after Gov. Asa Hutchinson endorsed the proposal by state prison officials to mask certain documents reporters use to disclose lethal-injection manufacturers ahead of executions.

The current Method of Execution Act primarily relies on a three-drug mixture for lethal injections. Each drug’s supplier is legally kept confidential, but package inserts and drug labels can be disclosed.

A spokesman for Rutledge says she’ll review the proposal to determine its constitutionality.