Judge orders partial release of Idaho lethal injection docs

Posted at 4:22 PM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 18:22:28-05

BOISE — A judge has ordered the Idaho Department of Corrections to release some of the information that was redacted from thousands of pages of documents detailing the state's execution preparations and procedures -- including the name of one lethal injection drug provider.

But prison officials may appeal the ruling.

Fourth District Court Judge Lynn Norton said Wednesday morning that she still needed to carefully review hundreds of additional documents before she can make a decision on the remaining redactions.

University of Idaho Professor Aliza Cover, who studies the death penalty, sued for access to the records under Idaho's Public Records Act after the Idaho Department of Correction largely denied her record request in 2017. She contends the public interest in understanding how the state performs capital punishment outweighs the Idaho Department of Correction's interest in keeping such matters secret.

But Department officials contend that releasing the information could make future lethal injection drug suppliers refuse to sell the chemicals to Idaho, hindering the state's ability to carry out executions. IDOC attorneys also say releasing the names of execution team members and volunteers could put those people at risk.

(by Rebecca Boone, Associated Press)