By Jon Herskovitz and Heide Brandes AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court overturned a temporary stay of execution on Wednesday for two Texas inmates challenging the state's lack of disclosure about the supplier of the drugs to be used in their lethal injections this month. The decision puts back on track an execution scheduled for Thursday evening that had been suspended temporarily earlier on Wednesday by a federal judge in Houston, who found that Texas has hidden information about the supplier of the drugs. U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore ordered the state to disclose, under seal, information regarding its execution drug, finding that Texas had provided information about the process by which the inmates would be executed and "masked information about the product that will kill them." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit said the case might be different if the state were using a drug never before used or unheard of, whose efficiency was completely unknown, which was not the case. "In sum, plaintiffs are speculating that the newly acquired pentobarbital being supplied by a new compounder may be different and may cause a risk of severe pain," the ruling said. "Speculation is not enough." The federal judge's decision was part of a series of recent court rulings that have mandated states to release information about drugs used for lethal injection, saying that keeping the information secret violates due process protections of the U.S. Constitution. Several states have struggled to obtain drugs for executions, while many pharmaceutical companies, mostly in Europe, have imposed sales bans because they object to having medications made for other purposes used in lethal injections. The appeals court lifted the temporary halt to the execution of Tommy Lynn Sells on Thursday for the murder of a 13-year-old girl, and Ramiro Hernandez whose execution was set for April 9 for a rape and murder that took place in 1997. SUPPLY OF EXECUTION DRUGS Texas, which has executed more prisoners than any other state since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, said last month it had obtained a new batch of the sedative pentobarbital, without disclosing its supplier. A Texas state judge ordered the department of corrections on March 27 to disclose the name of the supplier of drugs used in executions. Texas prison officials have so far refused, saying they want the supplier to remain secret to protect it from possible harm. That prompted lawyers for the two inmates to take the case to federal court. In neighboring Oklahoma, attorneys for two men scheduled to be put to death this month will request a stay of execution, arguing the state is not abiding by a court ruling compelling it to provide information about lethal injection drugs. The lawyers will raise objections to a hastily acquired batch of chemicals Oklahoma said it obtained this week for the execution of inmates Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner. "The new protocol raises grave concerns about its safety and efficacy," said Oklahoma attorney Madeline Cohen. An Oklahoma judge ruled last month that the state's execution procedures were unconstitutional because it did not provide to inmates the name of the drug supplier, the combination of chemicals and the dosages used in executions. "The lawsuit involved the confidentiality statute in Oklahoma, not about the drugs themselves," Diane Clay, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma attorney general, wrote in an email. (Additional reporting by David Bailey in Minneappolis and Heide Brandes in Oklahoma City; editing by Gunna Dickson, Bernard Orr)
- The Independent
Lara Trump ridiculed for questioning Kamala Harris’ qualifications as Twitter highlights VP’s accomplishments
Fox contributor mocked for being among ‘the most un-self-aware people to walk the planet’
- The Independent
Driver who fatally rammed protester in Minneapolis had licence revoked for being ‘danger to public safety’
Demonstrators were protesting the death of Winston Smith, a Black man who police killed under suspicious circumstances earlier this month
- The Independent
Richard Barnett is currently on home detention pending his trial
- The State
Family members aren’t convinced it was an accident. “There is no way in hell she did not see him.”
The movie and TV star died after being involved in a scooter collision 10 days ago in New York.
- Associated Press
President Joe Biden will seek to stave off another surge of civilian suffering in the devastating war in Syria when he meets President Vladimir Putin this week, appealing to Putin to drop a threat to close the last aid crossing into that country. Russian forces have helped Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime survive the more than 10-year conflict and Putin hopes to be a broker for Assad in any international reconstruction effort for that country. Russia holds the key veto on July 10 when the U.N. Security Council decides whether to extend authorization for the aid crossing from Turkey.
- Raleigh News and Observer
The former Panthers quarterback missed one game due to injury in 2020.
Plans to tackle ransomware hackers starts on shaky ground with a disagreement over who is responsible.
- Kansas City Star
The homicide marked the 70th this year in Kansas City.
- The Independent
Former president insists he is working on a ‘much more important project’
- The Independent
‘The Eucharist is being weaponised’: Catholic bishops to vote this week on whether to block Biden from taking Communion
“I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that - women they can’t control their body,” he said about women’s right to choose to have abortions in 2012, prompting outrage from some Catholic leaders
- Kansas City Star
The 16-year-old boy from Kansas City, Kansas, is accused of killing a 44-year-old man in Kansas City.
Participants on the show's seventh series will also receive "comprehensive" psychological support.
- WCVB - Boston
A Massachusetts doctor explains if the Delta COVID-19 variant could become the dominant strain in the USA, and what the risk is if it does.
- Reuters Videos
A spokesperson for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says the leader will not cooperate with a probe by the International Criminal Court into the thousands of alleged extra-judicial killings in his country, all part of its bloody war on drugs.The ICC's chief prosecutor asked the court on Monday (June 14) to open the case, which she has previously said could uncover crimes against humanity, and referred to a series of Reuters investigations in her preliminary findings.On Tuesday (June 15), families of some of the dead cheered the court's move.Normita Lopez's 23-year-old son was killed in 2017 when he allegedly resisted arrest."If we filed the case against Duterte here, nothing would happen. Since he's the president he can manipulate everything. He can do anything to avoid getting sued and imprisoned. When I heard the news about the ICC I became more hopeful."Philippine authorities say over 6,100 suspected drug dealers have been killed in the five years of the campaign, all of whom violently resisted arrest. Rights groups; however, say many were summarily executed.A series of Reuters investigations in 2016 and 2017 exposed some of the brutal deaths. A Duterte representative held a press conference Tuesday:"I believe that the decision to move forward into a formal investigation stage is legally erroneous, politically motivated. It is legally erroneous because in the first place the ICC has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of crimes against humanity as alleged in her information against President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Secondly, the case even for purposes of formal investigation, is barred by the principle of complementarily. And thirdly, the investigation is not pursuant or in aid of substantial justice."Duterte is popular at home and widely supported for his tough stance on crime. The Phillipines ended its membership with the ICC in 2018.
The lifting of restrictions in England has been delayed, which could affect planned events
- Miami Herald
Brian Keeley, president and chief executive of Baptist Health South Florida, will retire in 2022 after more than 50 years, including the last 35 years as CEO, building Baptist into the region’s biggest healthcare organization with 11 hospitals and nearly 24,000 employees, including 4,000 physicians.
- The Week
Republicans just killed outdoor dining in Pennsylvania
- Yahoo News
Before departing Geneva, Switzerland, following his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Biden apologized for his reaction to a shouted question from CNN's Kaitlan Collins after a solo press conference.
- National Review
Biden snapped at a reporter after she asked how he could be confident Putin would ‘change his behavior’ given his denial of human rights abuses.