Judge halts 2 Texas executions over drug secrecy - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Judge halts 2 Texas executions over drug secrecy

Posted: Updated:
By MICHAEL GRACZYK
Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) - The Texas attorney general's office says it is appealing a federal judge's order stopping the state from executing two condemned inmates until prison officials disclose information about the supplier of a new batch of drugs that would be used to kill them.

U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore issued a temporary injunction earlier Wednesday halting the lethal injection of Tommy Lynn Sells, who is set to die Thursday. Her order also stopped the execution of another inmate, Ramiro Hernandez-Llanas, who is set to die next week.

The state prison agency has insisted that the drug supplier's identity must be kept secret to protect the drugmaker from threats of violence. Attorneys insist the name is needed to verify the quality of the drug and keep the inmate from unconstitutional pain.

Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A federal judge on Wednesday stopped the scheduled execution of a serial killer in Texas, saying justice department officials must disclose information to the inmate's lawyers about the supplier of a new batch of drugs that would be used to kill him.

U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore issued a temporary injunction stopping the lethal injection of Tommy Lynn Sells. He had been set to die Thursday.

State officials have insisted the identity of the supplier must be kept secret to protect the company from threats of violence.

Attorneys insist the name is needed to verify the quality of the drug and keep the inmate from unconstitutional pain.

Gilmore had ordered the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to provide to Sells' attorneys information about the drug procurement, supplier, testing, what kind and who conducted the testing.

Texas prison officials haven't provided them "with sufficient information," Gilmore said in her ruling Wednesday.

It was not immediately certain if lawyers for the state will appeal Gilmore's ruling.

Since obtaining a new supply of the drug pentobarbital two weeks ago, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice had cited unspecified security concerns in refusing to disclose the source and other details about the sedative it plans to use to put inmates to death.

"As a result, the state's secrecy regarding the product to be used for lethal injection has precluded (the inmates and their attorneys) from evaluating or challenging the constitutionality of the method of execution," Gilmore wrote her a five-page opinion.

Another inmate set to die next week, Ramiro Hernandez-Llanas, also is involved in the lawsuit.

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

Powered by WorldNow

News Channel 25 KXXV-TV
P.O. Box 2522
Waco, TX 76702

Phone Numbers:
Main: 254-754-2525
Tip Line: 254-757-2525

Links
Contact Us
KXXV Employment Opportunites
FCC Filings
Advertise on KXXV

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KXXV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.