Legislation to keep secret the drugs used in a legal injection receives House approval
Hammond Representative Nicky Muscarello’s bill that would conceal the identity of the drug supplier for death penalty lethal injections passes the House floor on a 68-10 vote. Muscarello says this legislation is modeled after a Texas law that provides full details about the chemicals, but not who sold it.
“They want to know the drugs, including the backup drugs intended to be used, we are going to provide that, they wanted to know the source of the drugs that’s the thing we don’t want to provide,” said Muscarello.
But opponents cried foul about the ethics of keeping contractual details away from taxpayers. Baton Rouge Representative Pat Smith says if pharma companies that make lethal serums are proud of their work, they should have the courage to stand behind it.
“You are in that kind of business and you know that it’s a business that states are utilizing the product that you produce then you should be standing up celebrating the fact that you have the product they can use,” said Smith.
Muscarello says his legislation is necessary because companies won’t sell the state the drug without a secrecy guarantee.
The Hammond Republican was asked what would happen if, after the law is passed, a state employee leaks the sellers to the media. The lawmaker indicated it would likely be a serious criminal offense.
“I guess if somebody went rogue and released that information they would probably be some problems with that, I’m sure there is some criminal statute that I’m not aware of,” said Muscarello.
The measure heads to the Senate for more discussion.