ACLU: FOIA Reveals Governor Ricketts attempts to purchase death penalty drugs means more litigation for Nebraska taxpayers

Affiliate: ACLU of Nebraska
May 22, 2015 5:15 pm

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LINCOLN, NEB – On Friday May 15, 2015 the ACLU of Nebraska filed an open records request to determine if Nebraska’s recent announcement concerning the attempted acquisition of drugs to be used in lethal injection was lawful. The ACLU of Nebraska received a response from the Nebraska Department of Corrections on May 21, 2015.

To read the ACLU request:

To read the full response from the Nebraska Department of Corrections:

Statement from Danielle Conrad, Executive Director

“The ACLU of Nebraska is committed to holding state officials accountable. Nebraska’s past attempts to obtain lethal injection drugs have been legally suspect and full of problems including wasted taxpayer dollars and false promises. Their most recent effort is nothing more than déjà vu all over again. Nebraska policymakers and Nebraska voters deserve straight talk from our elected leaders. The Governor and the Attorney General are entitled to their own opinion but they can’t rewrite the facts. Their most recent announcement that they have somehow ‘fixed’ our broken death penalty system is simply inaccurate. After reading the results of our most recent FOIA there are more questions today than there are answers available. The results call into question the Governor’s claim that resolving this was simply a ‘management issue he promised to resolve’. The FOIA shows a shady foreign source approached the Department of Corrections and engineered a hasty deal with no assurances from state officials as to fair price, ability to comply with the importation laws, or the efficacy of the drugs in question. This marks another sad chapter in the dark history of Nebraska’s death penalty story. The only thing we know with any certainty is this will result in another round of costly and lengthy legal appeals with the taxpayer picking up the tab.”

For brief background information on Nebraska’s history with lethal injection and to learn more about a recently compiled report based off information from the Nebraska commission on Public Advocacy:

ACLU of Nebraska and its diverse membership works in courts, the legislature and our communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States and Nebraska guarantee everyone in this state.

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