Arkansas execution plan major test for drug secrecy measures

If Arkansas succeeds in executing multiple inmates by the end of the month, it will show that states have found an effective way of repelling some legal challenges that have thwarted or delayed executions in recent years.

Arkansas and at least a dozen other states with the death penalty have been able to keep secret how and where they are getting the lethal drugs used in their death chambers — information that had long been publicly available.

And state and federal courts across the country are upholding the legality of the states' new secrecy laws, despite waves of legal challenges filed by inmate advocates that the information was needed to protect the guarantee of a humane execution process. Arkansas hasn't executed an inmate since 2005 because of drug shortages and legal challenges.