Suit challenges Ohio law shielding execution drug makers

From The Blade

The governor’s signature had just enough time to dry before a lawsuit was filed challenging a new law to shield the identity of the makers of Ohio’s execution drugs and others involved in the process.

The federal suit was filed late Tuesday by four death row inmates, including Grady L. Brinkley, who was convicted in the 2000 shooting of his 18-year-old Toledo girlfriend, Shantae Smith.

Other plaintiffs include Ronald Phillips, of Summit County, whose execution is set for Feb. 11; Raymond Tibbetts, of Hamilton County, set to die on March 12, and Robert Van Hook, also of Hamilton County, who has a Nov. 17 execution date. The Ohio Supreme Court has not set a date for Brinkley.

The suit argues that House Bill 663, signed by Gov. John Kasich on Friday, violates the First Amendment rights of the death row inmates by offering at least temporary anonymity to a compounding pharmacy that agrees to manufacture the state’s preferred execution drug and permanent anonymity to most of the rest of the execution team.

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