Journalists File Lawsuit to Open Up Entire Execution Process

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Several Arkansas journalists have filed a lawsuit seeking greater access to the executions of condemned prisoners.  Media and public witnesses in Arkansas cannot watch executions when the intravenous tubes for lethal injection are inserted and removed from the inmates.  The curtains to the execution chamber are opened to witnesses after the condemned prisoner is already strapped to the gurney.  The curtains are closed once the inmate is dead.

The lawsuit says the entire process should be viewable...including strapping the inmate on the gurney and insertion of the needles.  The suit says witnesses should also see the needle being removed.

The ACLU of Arkansas filed the suit on behalf of the Northwest Arkansas chapter of the Society of Professsional Journalists, the Arkansas Times, and Arkansas Times editor Max Brantley.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)