Tue March 29, 2011
Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn New Execution Procedure
A lawsuit has been filed in Travis County District Court on behalf of two Texas inmates who want the state's new execution procedure to be declared void. Prison officials recently switched one of the three drugs they use for lethal injections. Maurie Levin, who represents death row inmates Cleve Foster and Humberto Leal, says the Texas Department of Criminal Justice rushed its decision and made it behind closed doors.
“We’re simply asking them to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act which has various requirements of notice and comment and response that are all you know, firmly grounded in the need for and belief in open government,” Levin told KUT.
The state said it had to switch to pentobarbitol because sodium thiopental has become unavailable, and the state's supply expired this month. Foster is scheduled for execution April 5th; Leal's is scheduled for July 7th.