The AP reports, "Arizona to execute inmate in new process that allows witnesses to see more of lethal injection." It's by Amanda Lee Myers, via the Star Tribune.
Witnesses expect to be able to see prison officials inject a lethal drug into a condemned inmate for the first time in Arizona history on Wednesday, when the state is scheduled to execute its fourth prisoner of the year.
Arizona opened up the process after a federal judge recently sided with The Associated Press and other news organizations in Idaho to allow witnesses full viewing access to lethal injections.
Until now, witnesses from the news media, the state and victims' family members walked into the death chamber at the state prison in Florence after the inmates had been injected and covered with a sheet up to their chest or neck. Once the witnesses were in place, the drugs then coursed through the inmates' veins.
Now witnesses will see the actual injection, something that defense attorneys sought in an effort to ensure inmates don't experience any unnecessary pain.
Samuel Villegas Lopez is set to be Arizona's fourth inmate to die by a single-drug lethal injection. Two more condemned prisoners whose appeals are nearing their end could be executed by the end of the year, which would put the state on pace to match its busiest year for executions and among the busiest death-penalty states in the nation.
Lopez was sentenced to die for the brutal rape and murder of a 59-year-old Phoenix woman in 1986. Of the 126 inmates on Arizona's death row, only five have been there longer than him.
The U.S. Supreme Court turned down his last appeal on Tuesday, paving the way of the execution. He also lost a number of last-minute efforts to avoid the death penalty, including a request with the state Supreme Court to delay his execution until Arizona has a new governor. He claimed that Gov. Jan Brewer and the state's clemency board were prejudiced against him.
KPHO-TV reports, "AZ execution to go on today amid protests," by Heather Brummitt.
Execution witnesses outside of prison officials will be allowed to see more of the lethal injection process for the first time in Arizona history as the state gears up to put to death its fourth condemned inmate this year.
Until Wednesday's scheduled execution, news media and victims' family members entered the death chamber at the state prison in Florence after the inmate had been injected and covered with a sheet up to his chest or neck.
The state opened the process after a federal judge sided with The Associated Press and other news organizations in Idaho to allow full viewing access for witnesses.
The Coalition of Arizonans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (CAADP) was planning a protest of the execution. According to the organization, they want to promote alternatives to the death penalty in Arizona.
Earlier coverage of Arizona lethal injection issues begins at the link.
To date, there have been 22 executions in American states in 2012; a total of 1,299 post-Furman excutions since 1977. Today's scheduled execution would be Arizona's fourth in 2012.