Two Oklahoma inmates scheduled for execution have a right to information about the drugs that will be used to put them to death, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish ruled that part of a state law barring disclosure of the source of execution drugs is unconstitutional. She said the law did not let her seek information on the drugs while considering the challenge.
“I do not think this is even a close call,” she said.
Clayton Derrell Lockett, 38, and Charles Frederick Warner, 46, sued in February, charging they are at risk of cruel and unusual punishment because of being unable to determine what drugs will be used to put them to death. A Corrections Department spokesman said Lockett is scheduled to die April 22 and Warner April 29.
Lawyers for the two men cited the January execution of Micheal Lee Wilson, who said as he died "I can feel my whole body burning."
Assistant Attorney General Seth Branham argued the state needs to hide the identity of compounding pharmacies supplying execution drugs because they face threats from anti-death penalty groups.
“We’re talking about people who are willing to send in bomb threats to compounding pharmacies,” Branham said.
The drugs used in executions have become an issue in death penalty states because some pharmaceutical companies now refuse to supply them.