Corrections chief promises to divulge how California secured lethal injection drug

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AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate answers a question concerning his departments proposal to reduce the California's inmate popluation, during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Sept. 18, 2009.

California’s top prison official said Friday he’ll soon release information on the state’s supply of a lethal injection drug. The only US manufacturer of sodium thiopental ran out of the barbiturate. But California recently purchased a supply and refused to say where it came from.

Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate told KPCC reporter Julie Small that his department is still figuring out what information it can release and when.

"We understand that by being circumspect with information we’ve kind of hightened the scrutiny on the issue" Cate said, "when really I think it’s not going to end up being a state secret. We’ll describe how we got it and why we went that route and all those kinds of things. It’s a matter of timing."

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California sued corrections officials to get details about where they purchased the drug. Cate says he hopes to make more information public within a couple of weeks.

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