This is by op-ed contributor Scott Martelle in the Los Angeles Times. The lack of transparency in the recent execution of Tommy Sells was a failure of due process and a violation of the 8th Amendment.
“It is our belief that how we choose to execute prisoners reflects on us as a society. Without transparency about lethal injections, particularly the source and purity of drugs to be used, it is impossible to ensure that executions are humane and constitutional. It is our hope that the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas courts will ultimately agree that we must have transparency about the execution process in order to ensure that prisoners are able to protect their Eighth Amendment rights.
“If we are going to have the death penalty in Texas, then the state cannot cloak its execution process in secrecy, preventing counsel for the condemned, the courts and the public from obtaining basic details regarding the state’s execution process.”
–Statement from Sells’ attorneys, Maurie Levin and Jonathan Ross