Florida Republicans want people involved with state executions exempt from public records

Florida had 324 inmates on Death Row as of Wednesday, according to the Department of Corrections' website.

PHOTO VIA FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CORREECTIONS/FACEBOOK
PHOTO VIA FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CORREECTIONS/FACEBOOK
Personal identifying information of people involved in carrying out executions in Florida would be shielded from the public under proposals filed in the House and Senate on Wednesday.

The measures (HB 873 and SB 1204) would provide a public-records exemption for information that could “identify or could reasonably lead to the identification of any person or entity” involved in an execution.

The bills were filed for consideration in the 2022 legislative session, which begins Jan. 11.

The measures, sponsored by Rep. Patt Maney, R-Shalimar, and Sen. Doug Broxson, R-Gulf Breeze, would provide broad protection that aims to shield people or entities involved in any step of the execution process.

The proposals call for concealing records of anyone involved in “administering, compounding, dispensing, distributing, maintaining, manufacturing, ordering, preparing, prescribing, providing, purchasing, or supplying drugs, chemicals, supplies, or equipment necessary” to conduct an execution.

The records exemption would be applied retroactively.

The proposals say that “it is a public necessity that information or records that identify or could reasonably lead to the identification of those persons or entities that participate in an execution be made confidential and exempt” from Florida’s broad open-records laws.

“The disclosure of information or records that identify or that could reasonably lead to the identification of those persons or entities that participate in an execution could jeopardize the safety of such persons or entities by exposing them to potential harassment, intimidation, or harm and could also thwart the ability of the Department of Corrections to obtain the necessary personnel, drugs, chemicals, supplies, or equipment needed to carry out executions,” the measures say.

Florida had 324 inmates on Death Row as of Wednesday, according to the Department of Corrections' website.
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