Court will re-ex­am­ine ex­e­cu­tion drug case

Jus­tices opt to re­visit ques­tion of whether to re­veal sup­plier

San Antonio Express-News (Sunday) - - Metro - By Keri Blakinger STAFF WRITER

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-

Pat Sul­li­van / As­so­ci­ated Press

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.

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