Judge halts execution, cites drug source secrecy


MICHAEL GRACZYK, Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge in Houston has stopped the scheduled execution of a serial killer until Texas officials provide his attorneys information about the supplier of a new batch of drugs that would be used to kill him.

U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore on Wednesday issued a temporary injunction stopping the lethal injection of Tommy Lynn Sells. He was set to die Thursday.

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State officials have insisted the identity of the supplier must be kept secret to protect it from threats of violence.

Attorneys insist the name is needed to verify the quality of the drug and keep the inmate from unconstitutional pain. Another inmate set to die next week, Ramiro Hernandez-Llanas, also is involved in the lawsuit.