States have been struggling with a shortage of lethal drugs to use in execution after companies refused to supply products for the purpose of killing the condemned. This has led one state to move back toward firing squads and electric chairs. Missouri however has moved to directly confront the industry ban on drug sales for execution by going into the business itself. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster proposed that the state “establish a state-operated, DEA-licensed laboratory to produce the execution chemicals in our state.” That would conceivably allow Missouri not only to supply its own execution drugs but to even supply other states.
What is equally interesting is that the state has been using a “compounding pharmacy” which has asked for its name to remain secret to avoid an industry or professional backlash. The state has a Sunshine Law enacted in 1973 (RSMO Chapter 610) that guarantees access to meetings, records, votes, actions, and deliberations of public governmental bodies are to be open to the public. However, it is not clear whether the public can demand access to contracts and other information that would be available under the Freedom of Information Act in the federal system. Presumably, this company is receiving state money and most such contracts are public. Embarrassment or fear of public backlash is not usually a basis to withhold such ordinarily public information.
Koster argues that, by creating its own lab, the state can be open about its source: itself. He told the legislature that it “should remove market-driven participants and pressures from the system at the earliest opportunity . . . Eliminating outside business interests from Missouri’s execution protocol would improve the high level of public transparency that is demanded in the exercise of this extraordinary state power.”
Source: Kansas City