Prison Guard Who Mistakenly Opened Death Row Doors is Fired

January 30, 2004 - Posted at 7:50 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The state Department of Correction says that it has fired a prison guard who hit the wrong button on a control panel near Arkansas' death row, opening 26 cells at the prison unit.

The incident happened earlier this week and is the second accidental opening in just over a month.  Last time, an inmate was murdered.

Prison spokeswoman Dina Tyler said the guard was fired for "inattentiveness to duty."  She did not release the guard's name and said the lone incident was the reason the guard was fired.

The guard has 30 days to appeal the dismissal.

Tyler said none of the death row inmates left their cells during Wednesday's incident at the Varner Supermax Unit.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)