ATLANTA – Lawyers for an inmate set to die in days are asking a conflicted federal appeals court to weaken Georgia's law that keeps secret the source of the state's lethal injection drug. It's the toughest of a number of secrecy laws passed in recent years by death penalty states eager to stabilize drug supplies.
States say the laws protect companies that fear retaliation for their association with the death penalty. Most were enacted after manufacturers, many of them in Europe, stopped selling drugs for executions, citing ethical concerns.
Brandon Astor Jones is set to die Tuesday. His lawyers say more information is needed to make a case that Georgia's execution method violates his constitutional rights. State lawyers say the law protects the source of the drugs from manipulation by death penalty opponents.