Families of Georgia murder victims will be allowed to watch the execution of their loved one’s killer, a policy change putting Georgia in step with most other death penalty states.
Joe Ferrero, acting corrections commissioner, told The Associated Press that he would start letting families watch executions unless there was a compelling reason not to do so. “I just feel like it’s the right thing,” Ferrero said.
On Tuesday, Carl Isaacs, the nation’s longest serving death row inmate, was given a lethal injection for orchestrating the murders of six members of the Alday family at their southwest Georgia home on May 14, 1973. Four members of the Alday family watched the execution, the first time in recent years a victim’s family was allowed to do so in Georgia.
The trend to allow victims’ families to watch executions started in the early 1990s, supported by victims’ rights groups. Most of the 38 states that have the death penalty, as well as the federal government, allow victims’ relatives to watch.