83
      Wednesday
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      Thursday
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      Friday
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      Judge refuses to toss execution lawsuit

      A federal judge is allowing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Missouri's execution law to move forward.

      U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips on Thursday denied a motion from the Missouri Department of Corrections to dismiss a lawsuit filed in October by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri. The ACLU lawsuit questions a state statute that prohibits identifying members of the execution team.

      At issue is Missouri's refusal to provide the name of the compounding pharmacy that makes pentobarbital for executions. The state considers the pharmacy to be part of the execution team and won't say who makes the drug.

      The ACLU claims the secrecy is "an effort to avoid public scrutiny."

      Nanci Gonder, a spokeswoman for Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, declined comment.