Triple killer's execution videoed
Published 22/07/2011 | 05:12
A man convicted of killing his parents and sister has been put to death after the courts allowed America's first video-recorded execution in nearly 20 years.
Andrew DeYoung, 37, received a lethal injection at the state prison in Jackson, Georgia, after courts turned down his appeals.
A videographer with a camera on a tripod stood about 5ft away from the trolley inside the execution chamber.
When asked to make a final statement, DeYoung said he was "sorry to everyone I hurt".
"I love you Dawn. Remember to smile," he added. His lawyer said Dawn was an old friend. He declined the offer of a final prayer. Department of Corrections officials said he took a sedative pill offered to him beforehand.
When the three-drug injection began, DeYoung blinked and swallowed for about two minutes, then his eyes closed and he became still.
He was pronounced dead at 8.04pm local time on Thursday. The execution was set for Wednesday but was put back a day as the state tried to block the video recording.
Lawyers for death row inmate Gregory Walker argued that recording DeYoung's execution would provide critical evidence in his appeal about the effects of pentobarbital, which is the sedative now being used as the first step in Georgia's injection procedure.
Walker's lawyers want to show that pentobarbital does not adequately sedate the inmate and could cause pain and suffering. In court filings, state prosecutors argued that having a videographer in the execution chamber would jeopardise the state's carefully-scripted security. They also said creating a video came with the risk of it being distributed.
Fulton County Superior Court judge Bensonetta Lane allowed the recording to take place and that decision was upheld by Georgia Supreme Court. The video will be kept under seal by the court.