We the citizens of the united states have the right to know what exactly happens when states murder human beings in our collective name. Let the sunshine in — Reporters must be provided unencumbered access to the homicide procedures used by states to kill human beings. These premeditated homicides are committed in our names and funded by our tax dollars.
Media Seeks More Access to Oklahoma Executions – OKLAHOMA CITY — Dec 4, 2014, By SEAN MURPHY Associated Press
“Restricting the media from witnessing an execution cuts off the public’s ability to have a fair and uncensored look at the state exercising its most awesome power, an attorney for two newspapers argued Thursday before a federal judge.
The Oklahoma Observer and Guardian US newspapers, along with two journalists who work for the papers, sued the state following a problematic lethal injection in the spring, arguing the media should have greater access to witnessing an execution. They also are opposed to new execution protocols that reduce the number of media witnesses and give the prisons’ director the ability to limit what they see and hear.
“That effectively functions as a censorship tool,” attorney Lee Rowland told U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton.
The newspapers want media witnesses to be able to view the entire execution, from the insertion of the IV lines until the inmate is declared dead, and hear what’s taking place in the death chamber through a microphone.
Rowland also argued the state violated the First Amendment when blinds were lowered and reporters were prevented from witnessing all of the April 29 execution of Clayton Lockett after it had started. Lockett lifted his head and struggled on the gurney before a doctor noticed a problem with an IV line and the warden ordered the blinds lowered.
As a result, the press was limited to only seeing the beginning of the lethal injection and had to rely on the state’s account of what happened after the blinds were closed, including the final minutes before Lockett died, Rowland said.
But attorneys for the state said Lockett’s problematic execution was an anomaly.