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Attorneys for death row inmate ask questions about lethal injection drugs sourcing

A white table bolted into a carpeted floor with black straps on the arm rests and towards one end of the table. There is a wooden podium and a wall of windows with grey curtains on the edges. There is a man standing on the other side of the windows.
Jessie L. Bonner
/
Associated Press
FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2011 file photo, the execution chamber at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution is shown as Security Institution Warden Randy Blades look on in Boise, Idaho. Idaho could bring back firing squads as a method of execution under legislation introduced by a panel of lawmakers Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023.

Attorneys for death row inmate Thomas Creech are asking for information on the drugs the state plans to use for his execution at the end of the month.

Creech was sentenced to death for killing a fellow inmate in 1981 while he was serving time for a 1974 double murder. Last week, the state issued a death warrant and set his execution for Feb. 28. On Monday, his legal team filed a memo saying the state was refusing to answer questions about where it obtained the injection drugs for the execution.

They say the state won’t confirm or deny whether the drugs were provided by a veterinarian, were obtained from another country or if they came from a now defunct pharmaceutical company that recalled all its drugs. In a press release, Creech Attorney Deborah Czuba said the state should not carry out an execution quote “until these basic questions are answered.”

In 2022, the Idaho Legislature passed a law allowing providers of lethal drugs used in executions to remain anonymous, after it struggled to find injection drugs from suppliers who feared public backlash.

“The state is hiding behind a broad and vague interpretation of its new secrecy law,” Czuba wrote.

In 2012, the state came under scrutiny after court documents showed it had bought drugs in a Walmart parking lot with a suitcase full of cash in Tacoma, Washington to carry out the execution of Richard Leavitt.

The Idaho Department of Correction declined to comment. Creech is Idaho’s longest serving death row inmate.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.

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