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Judge Says Ohio Can Shield Identity of Lethal Drug Suppliers

A federal judge says Ohio can shield the identity of people or entities involved in obtaining or using lethal injection drugs for executions.

The ruling by Judge Gregory Frost says the state's need to obtain the drugs outweighs arguments by defense attorneys that they can't meaningfully challenge the use of the drugs without the information.

The Monday decision notes that the state prison system submitted a list of people and entities that want their names shielded, meaning Ohio's request to protect names is more than speculative.

Frost has put the case on hold to allow for possible appeals.

Executions are delayed in Ohio until at least 2017 while the state tries to find supplies of the drugs sodium thiopental or pentobarbital.