The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) wants to change the state’s execution protocol.
The proposed procedure would not identify the lethal drugs or a detailed method for using them.
Gov. Pete Ricketts said that would be revealed to the inmate 60 days before a death warrant request.
“So they’ll have plenty of time to be able to examine that, make a challenge, if they like,” Ricketts told reporters at a news conference. “This protocol actually mirrors the language in the statute that was written in 2009.”
The proposal would also keep confidential the vendor supplying the drugs, which opponents of the death penalty say should not be made secret.
Gov. Ricketts pointed out that those can be kept confidential now.
“Claims of secrecy really just aren’t founded,” he said. “If you look at what the new regulations proposed are, it provides flexibility, and for the inmate, the regulations are such that they will be notified 60 days ahead of time of what the drug or drugs that are being proposed to used are.”
The purchase of the drugs could not be put on the state treasurer’s transparency portal, if the vendor is kept confidential, but the governor says the cost of the drugs would be made public.
The NDCS hearing on revised execution protocol is scheduled for Dec. 30, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (unless testimony concludes earlier) at the State Office Building, 301 Centennial Mall, Lower Level Conference Room, Lincoln.
The hearing is a forum for public comment, limited to five minutes per person, on the revisions. Written submissions will be accepted and made part of the record for anyone unable to attend the hearing. Those must be received by NDCS on or before December 27, 2016. They can be mailed to NDCS, PO Box 94661, Lincoln, NE 68509 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.