WASHINGTON, Jul 22 – Andrew Grant DeYoung, condemned to death for the murder of his parents and sister, has been executed on camera, the first time in nearly two decades a US execution has been filmed.,
DeYoung was executed by a three-drug lethal injection using the anesthetic pentobarbital, which is also used to euthanize animals, at 8:04 pm (0004 GMT), according to local media reports.
Several US states which permit executions have switched to pentobarbital because of a shortage of sodium thiopental, but its use is controversial.
Lawyers for another condemned man from Georgia, Gregory Walker, had asked a court to allow DeYoung’s execution to be filmed, arguing that it would provide critical evidence that pentobarbital should not be used in executions.
The state of Georgia tried to stop this, arguing that a videographer would disrupt security plans. But the Georgia State Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a local court’s decision to allow the filming.
“There’s been a lot of secrecy about what happens during an execution,” Richard Dieter, the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, told AFP. “So much is unknown that I think some videotaping should give us some idea of what happens during an execution.”
According to Dieter, DeYoung’s execution is the first to be filmed in the United States since 1992, when the court ordered the filming of an execution in a California gas chamber. California later abolished that method of execution.