NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has refused to release records that could illuminate his decision to abruptly halt the execution of Oscar Smith last month.
Lee has said the execution drugs for Smith weren’t properly tested. He has placed a temporary moratorium on executions.
In response to a records request by The Associated Press seeking more information, the Republican governor’s office cited attorney-client privilege and “deliberative process privilege” as reasons for not releasing some records.
The deliberative process exemption isn’t in state law. A 2004 appeals court decision found that certain documents could remain secret if officials deemed them part of their decision-making process.