Team's safety trumps public's right to know
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri's corrections director says he is relieved the Legislature has passed a bill shielding the identities of the state's execution team. Department of Corrections Director Larry Crawford says the bill could protect them from harm and make it easier to recruit a physician to the team. Missouri's inability to find such a doctor has hampered compliance with a federal court order reforming its execution procedures. Executions remain on hold in Missouri. Governor Blunt is reviewing the bill. The Death Penalty Information Center says several states protect the identity of execution teams, but Missouri may be the only one that penalizes those who reveal names. The center's Richard Dieter says everything about executions should be open to public scrutiny.