Oklahoma's response to the media lawsuit is available at the link.
"State Says Media Is Not Entitled To See Executions," is the AP report, via KGOU-FM.
Attorneys for the state of Oklahoma argue the media is not entitled to witness executions and that a lawsuit seeking more access to the procedure should be dismissed.
In a motion to dismiss filed Tuesday in federal court, assistant Attorney General Daniel Weitman wrote that having media witnesses at an execution does not play a "positive role in the actual functioning of the process."
The Oklahoma Observer and Guardian US newspapers filed a lawsuit last month asking a federal judge to declare the media be allowed to view an execution in its entirety, including the insertion of intravenous lines used to deliver the lethal injection.
"Prison officials ask court to dismiss ACLU execution lawsuit," is by Cary Aspinwall of the Tulsa World.
“Plaintiffs seek to expose employees of the Department of Corrections to intense scrutiny during the stressful and delicate stages of executions,” the court filing states.
The ACLU lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Western District of Oklahoma, comes in response to the April 29 botched execution of Clayton Lockett. The organization seeks to stop Oklahoma prison officials from hiding any portions of an execution from media witnesses, on behalf of The Guardian US and The Oklahoma Observer.
“Contrary to Plaintiffs’ claims that their reporting serves as the bulwark to preserve the integrity of the Eighth Amendment, case law reveals that courts view such eyewitness testimony as speculative, equivocal, and generally unhelpful with regards to whether an inmate suffers from the execution. The general lack of utility of the salacious details of an execution shows that press presence does not play a particularly positive role worthy of a First Amendment right of special access,” wrote Assistant Attorney General M. Daniel Weitman in the state’s response. Lockett’s execution took 43 minutes while he strained, mumbled and writhed on the gurney after executioners injected him with a mix of drugs never before used in an Oklahoma lethal injection.
"Oklahoma attorney general's office argues media has no right to view executions," is by Graham Lee Brewer for the Oklahoman.
Media witnesses to executions do not play an important or positive role worthy of certain First Amendment protections, according to a state response to a federal lawsuit.
In a response filed Tuesday to a lawsuit attempting to bar the state from closing the blinds on an execution, Assistant Attorney General M. Daniel Weitman argued the media has no right to view executions from beginning to end and reporting doesn’t adequately address whether or not they are cruel or unusual punishment.
Earlier coverage form Oklahoma begins with the preceding post. You can jump to earlier news of the media access lawsuit. Journalists have also sued the state of Pennsylvania over secrecy surrounding lethal injection drugs.