LINCOLN, Neb – Today the ACLU of Nebraska filed a lawsuit in state court alleging that the Nebraska Department of Corrections violated the Nebraska Public Records Act by not complying with open records requests related to Nebraska’s lethal injection protocols. Multiple media outlets reported that their requests for records had also been denied.
ACLU of Nebraska Executive Director Danielle Conrad release the following statement:
“In Nebraska, we believe that ‘the salvation of the state is in the watchfulness of the citizen.’ Open, transparent government is a bedrock Nebraska tradition deeply valued by citizens across the political spectrum because it provides a check on the abuses of big government.
“Today the ACLU of Nebraska filed suit to force the crisis riddled department of Corrections to identify the supplier of recently obtained lethal injection drugs in compliance with our strong open records laws. In recent years the department of Corrections has complied with these same laws and revealed the lethal injection drug supplier. The law has not changed.
“This lawsuit lays out Nebraska’s shady history of backroom deals and attempts to circumvent federal law to obtain lethal injection drugs. In recent years, Nebraska taxpayers have spent over $54,000 to obtain drugs that have never been used and taxpayer’s dollars still have not been refunded.
“Keeping secrets from the public won’t change the fact that Nebraska’s death penalty is broken beyond repair. The state’s remedy is simple: comply with Nebraska law and make public records public. We understand that Nebraskans of goodwill do hold differing opinions about the death penalty but we shouldn’t allow the Department of Corrections to disregard the law and the Nebraska tradition of open government for pure political reasons. decisions made in darkness don’t belong in Nebraska government.”