Prisoners accuse Texas of using unsafe drugs for executions

HOUSTON (AP) — Texas plans to use expired and unsafe drugs to carry out executions earlier this year in violation of state law, three death row inmates in a lawsuit allege.

Prison officials dismiss this claim and say the government’s supply of executions is safe.

The first execution of Robert Fratta is scheduled for January 10th. The state’s highest court of criminal appeals suspended the lawsuit filed by Fratta, Wesley Ruiz and John Ballentine on Friday while it considers an appeal from the Texas Attorney General’s office. The state wants the case to be heard by a criminal court, not a civil one.

Sean Nolan, an attorney for Ballentine and Ruiz, who were sentenced to death in February, has criticized Texas’ secrecy regarding execution procedures.

State lawmakers banned the disclosure of drug suppliers for executions starting in 2015. The Texas Supreme Court upheld the law in 2019.

“Texas continues to just rely on secrecy in these executions, and that’s why they’re trying to sidestep this lawsuit, because they don’t want to tell anyone these drugs are expired,” Nolan said.

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