The U.S. Supreme Court is allowing an Arizona execution of death-row inmate Joseph Wood to go forward amid a closely watched First Amendment fight over the secrecy surrounding lethal injection drugs.
The ruling came after Arizona officials earlier on Tuesday argued that a federal appeals court decision to stop an execution until the state reveals where it got its lethal injection is an "unprecedented expansion" of the First Amendment and clashes with other decisions. The state attorney general argued that if the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling stands, it would drastically change the standard for the public's right of access to governmental proceedings under the amendment. Lawyers for Wood countered that it would be "extraordinary" for the high court to vacate an order that allows the execution to proceed as long as the state discloses the information.
Wood, who was condemned for the 1989 murder of his girlfriend and her father, is scheduled for execution Wednesday.
— Tracy Connor with the Associated Press
First published July 22 2014, 2:41 PM