Texas loses appeal to hide execution drug supplier

FILE - This May 27, 2008 file photo shows the gurney in Huntsville, Texas, where Texas' condemned are strapped down to receive a lethal dose of drugs. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)
FILE - This May 27, 2008 file photo shows the gurney in Huntsville, Texas, where Texas' condemned are strapped down to receive a lethal dose of drugs. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas appeals court has turned down an appeal from state attorneys seeking to overturn a judge’s order that prison officials must identify the supplier of a new batch of drugs to be used for lethal injections.

State District Judge Suzanne Covington in Austin ruled Thursday that attorneys for two death row inmates set to die next month should be provided the name of the supplier of pentobarbital that would be used to execute the prisoners. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice wants to keep it secret, citing escalating threats of violence against execution drug providers.

The Texas Attorney General’s office asked for an emergency order to reverse Covington’s ruling. On Friday a three-judge appeals court panel refused.

The case now is headed to the Texas Supreme Court.

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