"Records show Kentucky prison videotaped moments before 2 inmates' executions, but not deaths," is Brett Barrqouquere's report for Associated Press, via the Tribune. Here's an extended excerpt from the beginning:
Kentucky prison cameras captured on videotape condemned inmates heading for the death chamber in two of the state's executions as part of a little-known archive that now could come under wider scrutiny from a legal challenge over how lethal injections are carried out, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.
The surveillance camera videotapes have never been made public and their existence was known only to corrections officials. The AP uncovered references to the videos in a personnel file of a former prison employee and when the Department of Corrections rejected a records request from the AP for the videos.
The videos — made before an electric chair death in 1997 and a lethal injection execution in 1999 — apparently do not show the execution, but the transfer of the inmates to the execution chamber. The AP has not been granted permission to view the tapes.
Now, their presence could become drawn into disputes over access to the execution chamber by defense attorneys seeking to take photographs and shoot video inside the chamber at the maximum-security Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville. The effort is part of ongoing litigation over how the state conducts lethal injections. Attorneys for inmates want experts to review photos and videos of the chamber to look for any potential problem that might cause an execution to go awry as part of a challenge to the constitutionality of Kentucky's execution methods. None of Kentucky's executions had apparent glitches. Prosecutors are fighting the efforts.
It also could raise Kentucky's profile amid the widening disputes around the country over the deadly mixture of drugs used in executions.
Earlier coverage from Kentucky begins at the link.