On Tuesday, we learned the Associated Press had used the power of the press last week to discover that Besse Medical had been the supplier of sodium thiopental to Texas for use in its executions. Good work, AP.
The State of Texas fought to keep the identity of its new supplier secret – purportedly to protect the employees of Besse Medical from danger and things like that. (The irony is not lost that there was a fear that those opposing the death penalty might cause the death of these workers.)
Meanwhile, most of the news stories are still rehashing Hospira’s exit from the marketplace. And the Texas Tribune has an interview with a representative of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice by the name of Michelle Lyons. Seems that Ms. Lyons told the Texas Tribune that Texas would "…explore some other options."
Was Ms. Lyons of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice being wily when she answered this question on the same day that the Associated Press released its open records revelation that Besse Medical has been selling sodium thiopental to the State of Texas for awhile now?
There’s been no subsequent press release from the Texas DCJ on this issue. No news release from Besse Medical, either, as of the date of this post.
Is Texas going to be supplied in the future by Besse Medical or not? Is Besse Medical going to be supplying other states (recognizing a market need without any competition and an apparent acquiesence in selling a drug that will be used in executions)?
We’re wondering about this. So we’re posting this today, and sending a copy of this post to Brandi Grissom of the Texas Tribune, who wrote the article, "TribBlog: Texas Seeking Execution Drug," and quoted Ms. Lyon in her story. We’re also copying Ms. Lyons with this post, and Besse Medical, as well.
We’d appreciate our confusion here being cleared up.
And we invite either Ms. Lyon or Ms. Grissom to comment or write a guest post here, as well as a representative of Besse Medical, should they chose to do so.
We’ll keep you posted.