The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco (9th Cir.) granted a death row inmate a delay in execution so he could receive information about his execution protocol, marking the first time a federal appeals court indicated there might be a right to know details about the drugs used in an execution.
On Saturday, the divided three-judge panel reversed a U.S. District Court of Arizona decision that denied Joseph Wood the right to know the credentials of his executioners and the source of the drugs to be used on him.
The decision came four days before his scheduled execution.
The appeals court held that Wood’s questions about the drugs and executioners held merit, while there was little evidence for the state’s concerns that publicly identifying the drug manufacturer and administrators would interfere with the execution process.