Committee approves secrecy for execution drugs

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama lawmakers are getting close to approving a bill that would keep secret the identities of manufacturers and suppliers of lethal injection drugs used in state executions.

The Senate Health Committee approved the legislation Wednesday in a 7-0 vote. It now moves to the Alabama Senate floor.

Rep. Lynn Greer, a Rogersville Republican, says states are struggling to get execution drugs because pharmacies and companies fear lawsuits and backlash from death penalty opponents.

Lawyers in death penalty cases have argued that the background of drugs used to execute inmates should not be a state secret.

The House approved the bill earlier this month on a 77-19 vote.

The Senate Committee stripped language in the House bill that would have exempted execution procedure and policy from the state open records law.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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