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Arkansas board investigating purchase of execution drugs

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas State Medical Board says it’s investigating the state’s purchase of lethal injection drugs used in four executions last month.

Under Arkansas law, doctors can participate in executions. But in a court case last month, questions were raised about whether Arkansas improperly used a doctor’s name and license to purchase one of the drugs.

The Department of Correction denied the claims. Arkansas doesn’t have to publicly reveal details about how it obtains the drugs because of a secrecy law.

Kevin O’Dwyer, an attorney for the medical board, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2pTErqs ) that the board can subpoena witnesses and records and has the authority to reprimand doctors or revoke their licenses.

Arkansas’ execution protocol calls for an emergency medical technician, nurse, physician’s assistant or physician to be present.

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