Chester v. Wetzel

A motion asking the judge in Chester v. Wetzel to unseal court documents so that the source of the state's lethal injection drugs would be public

Court/Assoc.: U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania

Attorneys/Firms: Mary Catherine Roper & Witold Walczak (ACLU-PA); Judith Brown Chomsky

In September 11, 2014, eleven days before Pennsylvania was to carry out its first execution in 15 years, the ACLU of Pennsylvania filed a motion on behalf of four newspapers – the Guardian, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Philadelphia City Paper – asking a federal judge to unseal court records that revealed the state’s supplier for drugs used for lethal injections. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has asked the judge to keep the sources of execution drugs for Pennsylvania secret.  The court has not yet made a decision on our motion.

The September 2014 execution was halted by a temporary reprieve from Governor Corbett, and newly elected Governor Wolf announced early in 2015 that he would issue a reprieve to halt any newly scheduled execution until a study of Pennsylvania’s death penalty that had been commissioned by the General Assembly is complete.  

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