Court will re-examine execution drug case
Justices opt to revisit question of whether to reveal supplier
Months after the Texas Supreme Court said it would force the prison system to reveal its execution drug supplier, the justices reversed course in a rare move this week and decided to rehear the case.
Now, after years of legal wrangling, both sides will be able to present oral arguments in January so the court can re-evaluate whether the state must hand over the name of its 2014 drug supplier.
“This is the state’s gravest responsibility and the Texas Supreme Court is giving it due consideration,” said attorney Maurie Levin, one of the plaintiffs who filed suit four years ago. “I have faith that the Supreme Court will uphold the fundamental principles of transparency and open government.”
Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jeremy Desel celebrated the Friday ruling, saying the agency would “look forward to January.”
“Releasing publicly the identity of any supplier of execution drugs,” he added, “raises serious safety concerns that real harm could come to the business, operators and its employees.”
Though the case only concerns the state’s supplier from 2014 and not its current source, Texas has fought the lawsuit, claiming it would imperil the state’s ability to carry out executions.
“If allowed to stand, the court of appeals’ decision directs the public unmasking of a supplier in Tex-
The death room in Huntsville is where Texas’ condemned inmates receive lethal drugs. The Texas Supreme Court had ruled that the drug supplier be named but now will review the case.