Condemned Man Says Public Should Have More Access to Executions - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

Condemned Man Says Public Should Have More Access to Executions

JULY 3, 2006 - Posted at 7:48 a.m. CST

 

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A condemned killer who had been scheduled to die Wednesday before his execution was stayed by a federal judge says the process of putting a person to death should be open more to the public, up to a point.

Don Davis is asking Governor Huckabee to make executions more public in the hope that it might deter others from committing violent crimes.  The 53-year-old Davis was convicted of the 1990 slaying of Rogers resident Jane Daniels.

He says in an e-mail, written by friend and anti-death penalty advocate Betsey Wright, that has has more concerns about Arkansas' "hidden, almost secret, way executions are carried out" and he believes "it would be sensible" to make them more public.  But Wright said David would not want greater public access to turn a prisoner's death into a spectacle.

Davis asked that witnesses be allowed to see the condemned prisoner walk to the execution chamber, and prison staff strapping the inmate to the gurney and inserting needles and tubes into the prisoner for lethal injection.  Davis also suggested that news reporters witnessing the execution be allowed to use tape recorders and cameras, but said he does not want executions to take on "a circus-like atmosphere."

A spokeswoman for Huckabee said yesterday that the governor suggested that what was needed was more of a thorough public airing of the details of "the savage and senseless murder committed by Mr. Davis."  Huckabee said the manner in which Davis is scheduled to be put to death is kind compared to the brutal way he murdered the victim.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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