Media to appeal judge’s ruling denying them access to execution drug information

Arizona Republic reporter Michael Kiefer, said Wood was unconscious by 1:57 p.m. At about 2:05, he started gasping.

By Michael Kiefer | The Republic

A media coalition filed notice Tuesday that it will appeal a federal judge’s September ruling dismissing arguments that it had a First Amendment right to information about execution drugs used by the Arizona Department of Corrections and the qualifications of its executioners.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow informed the media outlets, which include the Guardian, the Associated Press, The Arizona Republic, KPNX/12News, KPHO/Channel 5 and the Arizona Daily Star, that they had a First Amendment right to report on the issues, but the DOC did not have an obligation to turn over the information.

Related: Arizona again tries to illegally import execution drug

Among the concerns listed by Snow was a belief that identifying companies that provide drugs makes them targets for anti-death-penalty advocates and discourages them from selling the drugs to state departments of corrections.

Execution by lethal injection has repeatedly been deemed constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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