Judge: Redacted Execution Protocol Can Be Released
DENVER (AP) — A Denver judge has ordered the Colorado Department of Corrections to release a redacted version of its latest protocol for carrying out lethal injections, as the public conversation about the death penalty in Colorado continues.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado sought the information as Gov. John Hickenlooper considered the fate of death row inmate Nathan Dunlap. Hickenlooper later granted Dunlap an indefinite reprieve from execution but not clemency.
Corrections officials argued that releasing the execution protocol would expose security details including inmate movements. Judge R. Michael Mullins agreed but ruled Thursday that a version omitting sensitive details should be released.
“Particularly in light of Governor Hickenlooper’s recent reprieve, which calls for a public conversation about the death penalty in Colorado, disclosure of these records would further the public interest,” Mullins wrote.
Mullins rejected the ACLU’s request that the department also release the source of drugs used for lethal injections, saying those details wouldn’t facilitate public discussion of the death penalty.
Releasing those details could raise safety concerns for the pharmacies and hurt their business, outweighing the public need for that information, Mullins ruled.
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