Washington to increase execution access

first_imgOLYMPIA — Washington state will allow witnesses to executions to see the entire process, including the insertion of intravenous catheters during a lethal injection, state officials told The Associated Press.The new witness protocol, currently a draft that is in its final stages of approval, includes the use of television monitors to show the inmate entering the death chamber and being strapped down, as well as the insertion of the IVs, which had both previously been shielded from public view. The new technology has already been installed, and officials say the protocol will be finalized within the next week. Through public disclosure requests, the AP had sought information about any potential changes to execution protocols. State corrections officials spoke with the AP about the new procedures this week. The change is in response to a 2012 federal appeals court ruling that said all parts of an execution must be fully open to public witnesses. That ruling was sparked by a case brought by the AP and other news organizations who challenged Idaho’s policy to shield the insertion of IV catheters from public view, in spite of a 2002 ruling from the same court that said every aspect of an execution should be open to witnesses.“We have been working on this for many, many months,” Dan Pacholke, assistant secretary of the prisons division at the state Department of Corrections, said Wednesday.Pacholke said they have been researching the technology needed to make the change and followed the process currently used by Arizona, which provides an overhead view via TV monitor of the IV insertion during an execution.last_img

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