PHOENIX – Arizona corrections officials now will allow execution witnesses
to watch as executioners insert catheters into condemned prisoners.
But defense lawyers say it’s still unclear whether they also will be allowed to
see the IV process.
The Federal Public Defender’s Office filed a petition Wednesday morning with
the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
It challenges a district court’s ruling preventing lawyers from witnessing the
insertion of IV lines to carry out executions by lethal injection.
On Wednesday afternoon, Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan announced
that execution witnesses will now be allowed to watch the catheter insertion by
closed-circuit television starting with the June 27 scheduled execution.
But defense attorney Dale Baich says the DOC’s decision may not necessarily
apply to lawyers in the pending lethal injection challenge.