Appeals court to rehear Missouri execution drug dispute

An appellate panel that ordered Missouri to reveal its supplier of lethal injection drugs is giving the state another chance to make its case to shield that information.

In a federal lawsuit challenging Mississippi's three-drug execution protocol, two death-row inmates have subpoenaed Missouri for details about the using the single sedative, pentobarbital, in executions. Richard Jordan and Ricky Chase argue that Mississippi's three-drug protocol is torturous and unconstitutionally cruel.

On Sept. 2, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis unanimously rejected Missouri's claim that disclosing how it gets pentobarbital could crimp its ability to obtain such chemicals for future executions.

On Tuesday, the court issued a three-paragraph order granting the rehearing, but did not specify its reasons.