An Associated Press survey of the nation's 32 death penalty states found that the vast majority refuse to disclose the source of their execution drugs. Some states with laws shielding information about execution drugs and policies and the challenges to those laws:
Law: Shields the "identifying information of any person or entity who participates in or administers the execution of a death sentence and the identifying information of any person or entity that manufactures, supplies, compounds, or prescribes the drugs, medical supplies, or medical equipment utilized in the execution of a death sentence."
Challenge: A state court last year stayed an execution after a death row inmate challenged the law. The case is pending before the state Supreme Court, which has effectively halted executions.
Law: Identities of people "who participate or perform ancillary functions in an execution of the death sentence, either directly or indirectly, shall remain strictly confidential and the identities of those persons and information about those persons which could lead to the determination of the identities of those persons shall not be subject to public disclosure in any manner."
Challenge: The law is not currently the focus of litigation, although the state has previously defended it. The U.S. Supreme Court is now weighing an appeal by a death row inmate trying to get information about the seller and maker of drugs the state uses in executions.
Laws: Shield the "identities of members of the execution team, as defined in the execution protocol of the department of corrections." Last year, the Missouri Department of Corrections amended its protocol to show that the execution team consists of "contracted medical personnel" and department employees. The phrasing allows the department to include the pharmacy that makes its execution drug as part of the team and not subject to public scrutiny.
Challenge: A lawsuit filed on behalf of 16 inmates claims Missouri's refusal to name the drugmaker, even privately to attorneys, makes it impossible to know whether the drug is suitable for an execution, or whether its use could violate the constitutional guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment.
Law: Shields the "identity of all persons who participate in or administer the execution process and persons who supply the drugs, medical supplies or medical equipment for the execution. ... The purchase of drugs, medical supplies or medical equipment necessary to carry out the execution shall not be subject to the provisions of The Oklahoma Central Purchasing Act."
Challenge: The state revealed the drug combination it plans to use this month on two inmates after a judge ruled they had a right to know about the drugs. The state attorney also said promised a lab analysis to ensure the efficacy of the drugs and provide it to anyone who requests it.
Position: Texas announced that it found a new source of compounded pentobarbital but will not reveal the identity of the supplier.
Challenge: The U.S. Supreme Court declined to halt the execution Thursday of an inmate who sought to get the Texas prison system to disclose more information about where it gets lethal-injection drugs.