Idaho Changes Execution Witness Policy Following Media Lawsuit


The State of Idaho will make permanent a change to its policies, instituted during its most recent execution, that allows media greater access to the events leading up the lethal injection.

The Associated Press' Rebecca Boone, who also witnessed Idaho's two recent executions, reports that an agreement, filed in Boise's U.S. District Court, will allow witnesses to view the entire execution procedure from the moment a condemned inmate enters the execution chamber until death.

The Associated Press, the Idaho Press Club and 15 other news organizations sued the state to gain greater access, saying the media could not accurately report the execution proceedings without witnessing the entire process.

Additionally, the state today agreed to pay all the news organizations' attorney costs and fees, totaling more than $29,000.

The agreement between news organizations and the state reads as follows:

"The Idaho Department of Correction, and responsible parties associated therewith, are hereby ordered to modify their procedures to allow the witnesses to the execution of a condemned inmate to observe the entire execution from the moment the inmate enters the execution chamber through, to and including, the time the inmate is declared dead."