Alabama House approves execution drug secrecy bill - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Alabama House approves execution drug secrecy bill

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(Source: Wiki Commons) (Source: Wiki Commons)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The Alabama House has approved making parts of the state's death penalty entirely hidden from public view.

Rep. Lynn Greer's proposal, which the  Alabama Department of Corrections strongly advocates, would make secret the individuals involved in an execution, as well as where the state acquires the drugs required for a lethal injection.

"As members of this body, I think we owe it to the compounding pharmacies in this state and sells it for the small amount to the Department of Corrections," Greer said. "We owe him and his family that safety. We owe the person over there that injects the needle in the vein."

The bill would protect the identities of Corrections Officers and other staff that participate in the execution process.

Greer talked about the harassment and protests that the companies that manufacture drugs for lethal injection have faced.

Recently, the prison officials in the state of Missouri had to answer questions from state lawmakers there about the secretive process they have used to obtain drugs to be used for executions.

Lawsuits and similar issues have led to access issues to obtain the chemicals needed for lethal injection. The State of Alabama started using lethal injection as its primary execution method 12 years ago.

Drug companies in the European Union have stopped selling drugs to consumers in the United States for fear that they may be used for an execution.

Democrats met the bill with some stiff opposition on the House Floor, raising constitutional concerns over hiding information from taxpayers who foot the bill for executions. They also questioned those who provide the drugs to the state in the first place.

"If you're such ashamed of it, why do it?" asked Rep. Napoleon Bracy, D - Prichard. "If you feel like you can't go to your church and sit on the front pew of your church after creating this drug and selling it to the Alabama prisons to kill people, then you shouldn't do it."

Bracy and other members of the minority party also pointed out the irony of making parts of the death penalty more secret during a week of political theater that included the passage of four anti-abortion bills in the Alabama House of Representatives.

Lawmakers in the state of Georgia passed a similar that is currently under review by the Georgia Supreme Court.

Alabama has 197 people on death row, which is tied for fourth most in the country Pennsylvania behind California, Texas and Florida.

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