News Organizations File Lawsuit Challenging California’s New Execution Rules

Along with other news organizations, the Los Angeles Times has filed a lawsuit challenging California’s new execution rules. The complaint alleges violations of the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights to witness and report on executions on behalf of the public. At issue are provisions permitting lethal injection drugs to be concocted outside the view of media observers, and requiring the curtains in the lethal injection chamber to be drawn and media witnesses removed if an execution does not proceed as planned. 

In its efforts to resume executions for the first time since 2006, California has faced numerous legal challenges, including three additional lawsuits regarding the state’s proposed use of a single powerful barbiturate instead of three separate drugs. The state began construction on a new lethal injection facility in 2007 following concerns raised in a federal court case the prior year regarding the conditions at the execution facilities at San Quentin Prison.

Additional Reading

News Media Sue Over California’s New Execution Rules, The New York Times, April 11, 2018

Complete Docket Report for Los Angeles Times Communications LLC v. Kernan, et al.

Complaint (April 11, 2018)

Photo Credit: Gts /