Arkansas Senate approves expanding execution drug secrecy

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP)   The Arkansas Senate has approved expanding the secrecy surrounding the state's lethal injection drug supply, overriding complaints from press groups and death penalty opponents that the proposal will give officials broad powers to withhold information about the execution process.

The Senate on Monday voted 25-9 for the bill that prohibits the state from releasing information that would directly or indirectly identify the supplier and manufacturer of its execution drugs.

Those voting in favor of the measure representing North Central Arkansas were Senators Scott Flippo of Bull Shoals, Missy Irvin of Mountain View, James Sturch of Batesville and Breanne Davis of Russellville.

Arkansas doesn't have any executions scheduled, and the state's supply of lethal injection drugs has expired. Prison officials have said they're not seeking any more drugs until the law is expanded to keep the drugmakers' identities secret.

The state Supreme Court has ruled the current drug secrecy law doesn't apply to manufacturers.

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