501 KAR 16:340. Electrocution protocol

Link to law: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/kar/501/016/340.htm
Published: 2015

      501 KAR 16:340. Electrocution protocol.

 

      RELATES TO: KRS 196.030, 196.070,

196.180, 431.213-431.270

      STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS 196.035,

197.020, 431.218, 431.220, 431.224, 431.240, 431.250, 431.260, 431.270

      NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS

196.035 and 197.020 authorize the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and

Department of Corrections to promulgate administrative regulations necessary

and suitable for the proper administration of the cabinet or any of its

divisions. KRS 431.220 establishes requirements for the execution of the death

penalty. This administrative regulation establishes the protocol for execution by

electrocution.

 

      Section 1. Preliminary Steps. (1) The

penitentiary shall have a minimum of two (2) phone lines available for

communication with the courts and counsel on the day of execution. The warden

shall determine if necessary phone lines are operational prior to the execution.

      (2) The electrocution equipment shall be

designed to deliver approximately five (5) to ten (10) amps depending upon the

condemned person’s physique at the designed voltage.

      (3) The electrocution equipment shall be

checked and tested in accordance with 501 KAR 16:320, Section 3(3), within

forty-eight (48) hours of the time scheduled for an execution by electrocution.

      (4) A sodium chloride solution shall be

made by a member of the execution team within five (5) hours prior to the time

scheduled for an execution by electrocution by the following:

      (a) Approximately five (5) gallons of

water at room temperature shall be placed in a container; and

      (b) Up to 128 ounces of iodized table

salt shall be slowly added to the water while continuously mixing until the

water will not visibly absorb salt. Sufficient absorption is observed when the

salt will not dissolve in the water and visibly collects at the bottom of the

container.

      (5) Natural sea sponges for the head and

leg electrodes shall be prepared by soaking them in the sodium chloride solution

until they are saturated.

      (6) If the penitentiary does not have

power when the execution is scheduled to commence, the generator for the

execution building shall be started.

      (7) The condemned person’s head and one

(1) leg shall be shaved on the day of execution.

      (8) The warden shall order the condemned person

escorted to the execution chamber and strapped in the chair.

      (9) The warden shall order the viewing

curtain opened.

      (10) The warden shall announce the

execution to the witnesses.

      (11) The warden shall ask the condemned

person if he wants to make a final statement. If a statement is made by the condemned

person, it shall be limited to two (2) minutes. The witnesses shall be allowed

to hear the condemned person’s statement.

      (12) The warden shall announce the final

preparations for the execution to the witnesses.

      (13) The viewing curtain shall be closed.

      (14) The execution team members shall:

      (a) Attach the chin strap to the

condemned person;

      (b) Attach the head gear to the condemned

person;

      (c) Attach the leg band to the condemned

person;

      (d) Adjust the back board;

      (e) Attach the cables from the electrocution

equipment to the head and leg electrodes with the nuts sufficiently tightened

to ensure a firm connection;

      (f) Wipe any salt water released from the

sponges from condemned person’s head and leg; and

      (g) Secure the condemned person’s leather

face covering.

      (15) The warden shall make a visual check

of connections and straps.

      (16) The execution team shall exit the execution

chamber.

      (17) The viewing curtain shall be opened.

      (18) The warden shall:

      (a) Announce the execution of the

condemned person to the witnesses; and

      (b) Pull the face covering over the

condemned person’s face.

      (19) All persons except the condemned person

shall exit the execution chamber.

      (20) Counsel assigned by the cabinet and

counsel assigned by the Attorney General shall be asked whether any stays,

orders, pardons, or commutations of sentence have been received.

 

      Section 2. Execution. (1) The warden

shall order the execution to proceed.

      (2) The execution equipment shall be

activated for a two (2) minute cycle. The cycle shall consist of:

      (a) Approximately 2,400 volts for a

period of fifteen (15) seconds; and

      (b) Approximately 240 volts for the

remainder of the two (2) minute cycle.

      (3) If the warden sees evidence of a

malfunction, he shall press the stop button on the electrocution equipment to

end the cycle.

      (4) At the end of the two (2) minute cycle:

      (a) The viewing curtain shall be closed;

and

      (b) The warden shall observe the

condemned person for signs of life for five minutes, which at a minimum shall

include pulse and respiration.

      (5) If the warden observes signs of life during

the five (5) minute observation period:

      (a) The viewing curtain shall be opened;

and

      (b) The warden shall order the execution

cycle stated in subsection (2) of this section be repeated.

      (6) If the warden observes signs of life

again, the execution shall

be stopped. The commissioner shall contact the Governor’s Office and request

that the execution be suspended.

      (7) If the warden does not observe signs

of life:

      (a) The coroner shall check the condemned

person to declare death, which at a minimum, shall include pulse and pupils;

and

      (b) The physician shall certify the cause

of death.

 

      Section 3. Post Execution Steps. (1) The

warden shall announce the completion of the execution to the witnesses. The viewing

curtain shall be open during the warden’s announcement.

      (2) The witnesses shall be escorted out

of the witness room.

 

      Section 4. Stabilization Procedure. (1) Before

an execution commences:

      (a) The warden shall arrange for an

ambulance and staff to be present on penitentiary property during the

execution; and

      (b) A medical crash cart and

defibrillator shall be located in the execution building.

      (2) If at any time during the execution process the Governor grants a

pardon or commutes the sentence of the condemned person or if a court of

competent jurisdiction issues a stay after an execution has commenced:

      (a) The execution team shall stop the

execution; and

      (b) The medical staff on site shall

attempt to stabilize the condemned person with the equipment and personnel

listed in subsection (1) of this section.

 

      Section 5. Volunteer. (1) If a condemned

person, who is a volunteer, tells department staff that he does not wish to continue

with the execution process, the staff shall tell the warden.

      (2) If the execution is in process:

      (a) The execution team shall stop the

execution; and

      (b) The medical staff on site shall

attempt to stabilize the condemned person with the equipment and personnel listed

in Section 4(1) of this administrative regulation.

      (3) The warden shall allow the condemned

person to contact his attorney.

      (4) The warden shall notify the

commissioner.

      (5) The commissioner shall contact the

Governor’s Office and request that the execution be suspended. (36 Ky.R. 1569;

Am. 2099-M; 2044-A; eff. 5-7-2010.)
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