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Texas Judge Orders State To Reveal Source Of Execution Drug

A Texas judge ruled the state must tell two death row inmates where it is buying its execution drugs from.

The AP reports that the inmates sued the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the information. The state has argued that it wants to keep the information secret, because its previous supplier backed out of the relationship when its name became public and it received threats.

The AP adds:

"The lawsuit against the state agency contends the prisoners cannot evaluate the risk that could result in them being subjected to unconstitutionally cruel pain.

"Attorneys for convicted killers Tommy Lynn Sells and Ramiro Hernandez-Llanas filed a lawsuit demanding the Texas Department of Criminal Justice name the provider of the pentobarbital, the sedative the state uses for lethal injections.

"Sells and Hernandez-Llanas are scheduled to die April 3 and 9 respectively. Sells was condemned for slashing two girls' throats in 1999 at a home near Del Rio; one girl died. Hernandez-Llanas was condemned for the 1997 beating death of a man who owned a ranch where Hernandez worked near Kerrville."

As we've reported, the kinds of drugs being used in executions have become controversial.

In Oklahoma ,for example, a five-judge appellate panel put two executions on hold because the state could not guarantee a supply of the drugs. Sources for the drugs have dried up, leaving states scrambling for replacements.

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