Reporter: Covering Executions Is A Duty–“Someone Has To Be There”


For reporters, covering executions is a duty, Greg Bluestein of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tells CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” He adds, “Someone has to be there when the state does this final act.” Journalists may be the only witnesses present, he says. For some executions, “even the condemned man’s lawyers or family or friends aren’t even in there. The lawyer is usually back in Atlanta or Washington filing last-minute appeals and they don’t have anyone there for them.”

Matt Trotter of Oklahoma Public Radio, who covered last week’s bungled execution in his state, recalled, “You hit that point during the execution where you and the rest of the media witnesses in the room are able to exchange quick glances with the people next to you and just go, oh, wow, this is really going wrong. So, when it got to that point, I think the journalistic instinct for most of us, definitely for me, just kind of kicked in, and it was a lot of looking up at the clock, looking down at (death row convict Clayton)Lockett, looking at the clock, scribbling on the prison-provided notepad.”

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