For the time in 20 years the execution of a prison inmate in the U.S. was videotaped, when Georgia executed Andrew DeYoung last night by lethal injection for killing his parents and sister in 1993. A legal fight between the state's prosecutors and the Georgia Supreme Court delayed DeYoung's execution by a day, but last night the camera rolled.
The decision to videotape DeYoung's execution came from another death row inmate who, through an appeal, wanted to prove that the use of a new drug cocktail containing pentobarbital to kill prisoners is inhumane. Ever since the one company in the U.S. that produced sodium thiopental — the original anaesthetic that states used in lethal injection cocktails — stopped making it, several states have obtained the drug, often through questionable means. Just yesterday, Arkansas was forced to hand over its stash of sodium thiopental to the feds after the state bought it from a British company called Dream Pharma. The DEA seized all of Georgia's sodium thiopental in March.
A reporter for The Marietta Daily Journal witnessed DeYoung's execution and detailed the entire process up to DeYoung's last moments:
DeYoung declined the offer of a final prayer, but accepted Ativan, a sedative, with his dinner.
As the execution cocktail was injected into his arms via an IV drip, DeYoung swallowed a few times and blinked his eyes before closing them, his expression blank. He was pronounced dead shortly after.
"The execution was flawless," Attorney General Sam Olens said later. "The Department of Corrections did an excellent job handling the execution this evening."
[Marietta Daily Journal; images via AP]