Judge to hear arguments in execution coverage case
Ponca City Now - December 4, 2014 6:33 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A federal judge is expected to hear arguments from attorneys for a group of journalists and news organizations who want to prevent the state from restricting the media’s access to executions.
Arguments are scheduled before a judge Thursday in Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoma Observer and Guardian US newspapers, along with two journalists, are asking a federal judge to ensure that media witness are able to view the execution of a condemned inmate from start to finish.
They argue Oklahoma prison officials violated the First Amendment when they lowered the blinds and prevented reporters from witnessing the April 29 execution of Clayton Lockett after it had already begun. Lockett struggled on the table during the execution.
New Department of Corrections protocols reduce the number of media witnesses from 12 to five.