The Press & Executions

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The Media Circus is already pitching camp in Terre Haute Indiana, for the execution of Timothy McVeigh.

Something like 1400 reporters and technicians are expected in Terre Haute, Indiana by May 16th. Many more will be in Oklahoma City, where hundreds of Oklahoma City Bombing survivors and victims’ family members will watch the lethal injection via closed-circuit television. Only ten reporters will be allowed inside inside the death camber. None of them will be permitted to make an audio or visual record. And what they will see is up to prison officials….if something starts to go wrong, they may well pull the curtain. Some media advocates argue that these restrictions are anti-democratic and unconstitutional.
Prison officials say they’re necessary. Why are reporters allowed at all, how much public access should there be to the state’s ultimate sanction?
(Hosted by Neal Conan)


Jason Beaubien, WBUR Reporter and witness to two executions

Jim Willett, retired warden of The Huntsville Unit in Huntsville, Texas

Bruce Brown, First Amendment lawyer for the Society of Professional Journalists

Austin Sarat, author of “When the State Kills”

Senator Byron Dorgan, Democrat, North Dakota.