Mysteries of the death-drug scramble - Page 3

The strange tale of how California prison officials pulled out all the stops to acquire a lethal injection chemical

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Thornton, CDCR's press person, wouldn't respond to our queries. But Natasha Minsker, the director of the ACLU's Death Penalty Project, said she's concerned that California will try to become a supplier for other prison systems. "It certainly raises questions," she told us.

There's a lot missing from the documents. In many instances, the names of the officials who sent and received e-mails are redacted. And there are obvious pieces of the puzzle missing from the files CDCR has released.

"There's no e-mail from the DEA or the FDA," Minsker said, "although CDCR was clearly contacting them. There's nothing from the governor's office, although it's likely they were also involved."

Overall, Minsker said, the documents "show how sneaky CDCR was trying to be about all of this."

The ACLU filed another suit Dec. 13 seeking the release of some of the redacted material as well as records of CDCR's efforts between October and December.

If those documents are ever released, they may address some of the looming questions about the material the state uses to kill people.