Alabama officials ordered to release information about execution protocol

Alabama officials ordered to release information about execution protocol
© Getty Images

A federal judge ordered Alabama state officials on Wednesday to release information about the state's lethal injection protocol, The Associated Press reported.

The decision from U.S. Judge Karon Bowdre came in response to a motion filed by the AP, The Montgomery Advertiser and Alabama Media Group that sought to unseal the records. 

In her order, Bowdre argued that there is a "common law right of access to the sealed records relating to Alabama’s lethal injection protocol."

ADVERTISEMENT

The state will be allowed to withhold some information, such as the names of low-level prison employees involved in executions, for security reasons, the AP reported.

The news organizations made the motion in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in a lawsuit brought by death row inmate Doyle Lee Hamm. 

Hamm was set to be put to death in February, but officials scrapped the execution after they were unable to connect an intravenous line to his damaged veins. 

Bowdre wrote in her ruling that releasing the information to the public could "help the public to understand how the same scenario might be repeated or avoided under the protocol as it currently stands."

State officials have until June 7 to tell Bowdre whether any of the documents ordered to be released contain identifying information, such as names of prison personnel.