ACLU files suit over secrecy of execution team

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state of Missouri over a statute that prohibits identifying members of the team involved in executing prisoners without permission from the Corrections Department director.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by the ACLU branch in St. Louis, asks that the court find the statute unconstitutional.

On Tuesday, the Corrections Department announced it was switching to a new lethal injection drug, the sedative pentobarbital, which is also used in executions in 13 other states. The state had planned to use the anesthetic propofol, but Gov. Jay Nixon on Oct. 11 halted all executions until a new drug was found.

The new protocol makes a compounding pharmacy part of the execution team, and the statute protects the anonymity of the pharmacy.

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