Suit seeking to make all portions of executions public is valid, judge says

A judge on Aug. 16 decided that a lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles Times, KQED Radio and 48Hills.org, a CNPA Digital News Media member, is valid and should not be dismissed. The suit asks for an injunction to prevent the state from carrying out executions unless they are truly public.

“It clearly states that the plaintiffs have a valid claim that the press, as the representative of the public, has a right to view all parts of the execution process, including the mixing of the chemicals and the medical intervention if the condemned inmate doesn’t die from the lethal injection,” the 48Hills article said.

“The public has a right to witness what happens when something goes wrong and not rely on the state’s representation,” said attorney Christopher Sun, representing the plaintiffs.

“State regulation now requires a curtain on the viewing window to the execution chamber to be closed and the public address system turned off if the inmate does not die after receiving three doses of the lethal chemicals,” The Times’ article said.