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State Says Media Is Not Entitled To See Executions

Attorneys for the state of Oklahoma argue the media is not entitled to witness executions and that a lawsuit seeking more access to the procedure should be dismissed.

In a motion to dismiss filed Tuesday in federal court, assistant Attorney General Daniel Weitman wrote that having media witnesses at an execution does not play a "positive role in the actual functioning of the process."

The Oklahoma Observer and Guardian US newspapers filed a lawsuit last month asking a federal judge to declare the media be allowed to view an execution in its entirety, including the insertion of intravenous lines used to deliver the lethal injection.

The lawsuit followed the April 29 execution of inmate Clayton Lockett, during which prison officials lowered a shade that blocked the view of media witnesses.


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