California news media sues over rules that limit viewing of executions

Three news outlets are suing California for blocking access to how it conducts executions at San Quentin State Prison. California has put into effect rules that allow lethal drugs to be prepared and injected into inmates in a separate “infusion control room” out of public sight. During the process, the public can view the inmate in a separate “lethal injection room.” The outlets claim they should have access to all aspects to allow them to judge if the executions were administered fairly and humanely. (Courthouse News Service, April 11, 2018, by Nicholas Iovino)

The new lethal injection rules also allows prison authorities to close a curtain to the viewing room and the public address system turned off if the inmate does not die after three doses. The lawsuit claims that execution by lethal chemicals is complex with considerable chance for error. This requires greater transparency to guard against inhumane procedures. (Los Angeles Times, April 11, 2018, by Maura Dolan)

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