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House passes bill to keep lethal drugs secret

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Posted: May 20, 2014 5:32 PM by Lauren Langlois
Source: Associated Press

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BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers in the state House have overwhelmingly supported a proposal to let Louisiana's corrections department keep information on execution drugs hidden from the public.

The House voted 94-2 Tuesday for the proposal by Metairie Rep. Joe Lopinto, a Republican, joining a national push among states for confidentiality.

Supporters say secrecy is needed to combat a drug shortage caused by pharmacies that do not want to associate with executions.

Lopinto says the information could be obtained through a request by a federal district court, but wouldn't be subject to public information requests.

Critics argue the confidentiality makes it impossible to determine if a prisoner's constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment is being violated.

The proposal moves to the Senate for consideration.

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