Opinion » Note

Legal Transparency


In this week's News section, you'll read a different take on the impending execution of Richard Leavitt, the convicted killer who is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection Tuesday, June 12. While that story is about the murder and what some call a shadow of doubt regarding his guilt--despite that a jury of his peers said otherwise--there's a related story a few other news organization have touched on that we reported in Citydesk recently.

On May 22, Boise Weekly, under the name of our parent company, Bar Bar Inc., and 16 other organizations filed suit against the state of Idaho in an attempt to force prison officials to allow the media to witness the execution process in its entirety. Currently in Idaho, the media is banned from the portion of the execution in which the inmate is brought into the execution chamber, strapped in and IVs are inserted. The reason for that ban, according to prison officials in states that enforce it, is to protect the identity of the execution team.

Those of us bringing the suit, which is being spearheaded by the Associated Press and includes the Idaho Statesman, the Idaho Press-Tribune, the Spokesman Review and the Idaho Press Club, among others, contend that the media should bear witness to all the events of the execution so as to ensure full transparency and accountability of the process. On May 31, we entered into mediation without reaching an agreement, and earlier this week, the attorney representing the media filed a reply to counter arguments made by the Idaho Department of Correction. As BW went to press early on June 5, a decision was expected from Judge Edward Lodge as soon as later that day. Continue to follow the story at Citydesk, as well as detailed reports from the Associated Press.

As for this week's issue, I'll steer you toward the Arts story, which is a look behind the scenes at War Horse, an unlikely frontrunner on the international stage scene. And, as is the case every First Thursday, we have a rundown of most of the happenings to help you find your way around downtown.