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Corrections - Administration - Executions

Published: 2012-04-09

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R251. Corrections, Administration.

R251-107. Executions.

R251-107-1. Authority and Purpose.

(1) This rule is authorized by Sections 63G-3-201, 64-13-10, 77-19-10, and 77-19-11, of the Utah Code, in which the Department shall adopt and enforce rules governing procedures for the execution of judgments of death and attendance of persons at the execution.

(2) The purpose of this rule is to address public safety and security within prison facilities prior to, during and immediately following an execution.

R251-107-2. Definitions.

(1) "Department" means Utah Department of Corrections.

(2) "DPO" means Division of Prison Operations.

(3) "news media" includes persons engaged in news gathering for newspapers, news magazines, radio, television, online news sources, excluding personal blogs, or other news services.

(4) "news media members" means persons over the age of eighteen who are primarily employed in the business of gathering or reporting news for newspapers, news magazines, national or international news services, radio or television stations licensed by the Federal Communications Commission or other recognized news services, such as online media.

(5) "newspaper" means a publication that circulates among the general public, and contains information of general interest to the public regarding political, commercial, religious or social affairs.

(6) "press" means the print media, news media, or both.

(7) "USP" means Utah State Prison.

R251-107-3. Crowd Control.

(1) Persons arriving at or driving past the USP shall be routed and controlled in a manner which does not compromise or inhibit:

(a) security;

(b) official escort or movement;

(c) the functions necessary to carry out the execution; or

(d) safety.

(2) Persons controlled/handled through this process shall be handled in a manner with no more restriction than is necessary to carry out the legitimate interests of the Department.

(3) Procedures for crowd control shall be consistent with federal, state and local laws.

(4) Only persons specifically authorized shall be permitted on USP property, except those persons congregating at a designated demonstration/public area.

(5) Persons entering USP property without authorization shall be ordered to leave and may be arrested if:

(a) the trespass was intentional;

(b) the individual failed to immediately leave the USP property following a warning;

(c) the trespass jeopardized safety or security (or) interfered with the lawful business of the Department or its staff or agents; or

(d) it involves entry onto areas clearly posted with signs prohibiting access or trespass.

R251-107-4. Location and Procedures.

(1) The executive director of the Department of Corrections or his designee shall ensure that the method of judgment of death specified in the warrant is carried out at a secure correctional facility operated by the department and at an hour determined by the department on the date specified in the warrant.

(2) When the judgment of death is to be carried out by lethal intravenous injection, the executive director of the department or his designee shall select two or more persons trained in accordance with accepted medical practices to administer intravenous injections, who shall each administer a continuous intravenous injection, one of which shall be of a lethal quantity of sodium thiopental or other equally or more effective substance to cause death.

(3) If the judgment of death is to be carried out by firing squad under Subsection 77-18-5.5(3) or (4), of the Utah Code, the executive director or his designee shall select a five-person firing squad of peace officers.

(4) Death shall be certified by a physician.

R251-107-5. Demonstration and Public Access.

(1) The Executive Director may permit limited access to a designated portion of state property on Minuteman Drive at or near the Fred House Academy for the public to gather demonstrate during an execution event.

(2) No person may violate the intent of clearly marked signs, fences, doors or other indicant relative to prohibitions against entering any prison property or facility for which permission to enter may not be marked.

(3) The Department neither recognizes, nor is bound by, the policies, allowances or arrangements which may have occurred at prior executions, events or on prior occasions, and by this rule any arrangement provided for public access at previous executions or demonstrations is invalidated.

(4) The Executive Director or Warden may at any time withdraw permission without notice in the event of riot, disturbance, or other factors that in the opinion of the Warden/designee or Executive Director/designee jeopardizes the security, peace, order or any function of the prison.

R251-107-6. Witnesses.

(1) The Department will implement the standards and procedures for inmate witnesses outlined in Section 77-19-11, of the Utah Code.

(2) As a condition to attending the execution, each designated witness shall be required by the Department to sign an agreement setting forth their willingness to conduct themselves while on prison property in a manner consistent with the legitimate penelogical, security and safety concerns as delineated by the Department.

(3) Witnesses shall be searched prior to being allowed to witness the execution.

R251-107-7. News Media.

(1) The Department shall permit press access to the execution and information concerning the execution consistent with the requirements of the constitutions and laws of the United States and State of Utah.

(2) The Department and the Utah Code recognize the need for the public to be informed concerning executions.

(a) The Department will participate and cooperate with the news media to inform the public concerning the execution; and

(b) information should be provided in a timely manner.

(3) The Executive Director shall be responsible for selecting the members of the news media who will be permitted to witness the execution.

(a) After the court sets a date for the execution of the death penalty, news directors or editors desirous to have a staff member witness the execution may submit, in writing, such request for no more than one news media staff member.The request shall be addressed to the Executive Director and received at least 30 days prior to the execution.

(b) When administrative convenience or fairness to the news media dictates, the Department, in its discretion, may extend the request deadline.

(c) Requests for consideration may be granted by the Executive Director provided they contain the following:

(i) a statement setting forth facts showing that the requesting individual falls within the definition of member of the "press" and "news media" as set forth in this rule;

(ii) an agreement to act as a pool representative for other news gathering agencies desiring information on the execution; and

(iii) an agreement that the media member will abide by all of the conditions, rules and regulations while in attendance at the execution.

(d) Upon receipt of a news director's or editor's request for permission for news media witnesses to attend the execution, the Executive Director may take the steps necessary to verify the statements made in the request. After verifying the information in the request, selection of witnesses shall be made by the Executive Director.

(e) As a condition to attending the execution, each designated media witness shall be required by the department to execute an agreement setting forth their willingness to conduct themselves while on prison property in a manner consistent with the legitimate penological, security and safety concerns as delineated by the department.

(f) Media witnesses shall be searched prior to being allowed to witness the execution.

(g) The Department shall arrange for pre-execution briefings, distribution of media briefing packages, briefings throughout the execution event, and post-execution briefings by the news media who witnessed the execution.

(4) Persons representing the news media witnessing the execution shall be required to sign a statement or release absolving the institution or any of its staff from any legal recourse resulting from the exercise of search requirements or other provisions of the witness agreement.

(5) News media representatives shall, after being returned from the execution to the staging area, act as pool representatives for other media representatives covering the event.

(a) The pool representatives shall meet at the designated media center and provide an account of the execution and shall freely answer all questions put to them by other media members and shall not be permitted to report their coverage of the execution back to their respective news organizations until after the non-attending media members have had the benefit of the pool representatives' account of the execution.

(b) News media members attending the post-execution briefing shall agree to remain in the briefing room and not leave nor communicate with persons outside the briefing room until the briefing is over.

(c) The briefing shall end when the attending news media members are through asking questions or after 60 minutes, whichever comes first.

(d) Any film/videotape obtained by a pool photographer shall not be used in any news or other broadcast until made available to all agencies participating in the pool. All agencies receiving the film/videotape will be permitted to use them in news coverage and to retain the film/videotape for file footage.

(6) The Department may alter these processes to impose additional conditions, restrictions and limitations on media coverage of the execution when requirements become necessary for the preservation of prison security, personal safety or other legitimate interests which may be in jeopardy.

(7) If extraordinary circumstances develop, additional conditions and restrictions shall be no more restrictive than required to meet the exigent circumstances.

R251-107-8. Authority of Executive Director.

The Executive Director/designee shall be authorized to make changes in policies and procedures that are necessary to ensure the interest of security, safety, and professionalism is maintained during the planning, training, and administering of the execution order.

KEY: corrections, executions, prisons

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: April 9, 2012

Notice of Continuation: April 6, 2017

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 77-19-10; 77-19-11