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Execution Secrecy Law Challenged In Georgia

The death chamber at the state prison in Jackson, Georgia.
The death chamber at the state prison in Jackson, Georgia.
Credit Ric Feld / Associated Press
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Lawyers are challenging a secrecy law banning Georgia’s government from releasing key details about where it gets the drug used in lethal injections.

Kelly Gissendaner was scheduled to die by lethal injection March 2. She was convicted of conspiring with a lover in 1997 to kill her husband.

However, correction officials decided at the last minute to delay her execution because the lethal injection drug appeared “cloudy,” raising questions about whether it would work properly.

Lawyers for Gissendaner want to know where the drug came from so they can assess whether its use might cause unconstitutional suffering and pain.

Facing a drug shortage, state lawmakers passed a law that barred the government starting in 2013 from releasing any information about where it gets its death penalty drugs.