BREAKING – Today, the Federal Court allowed the ACLU’s First Amendment challenge to California's execution viewing procedure to move forward, rejecting the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s attempt to deprive journalists of the right to view and fully report on an execution.
Linda Lye, Senior Staff Attorney, issued the following statement in reaction to the Court’s ruling:
This is a significant victory for government transparency and accountability. The Court recognized that the press serves as the eyes of the public and that the government cannot take a life in secret. There is a real danger of botched executions, and the public has a right to know about any complications. If California is going to conduct executions, it cannot keep people in the dark about critical portions of the process.
The suit was filed on behalf of the San Francisco Progressive Media Center, publisher for 48 Hills. The Los Angeles Times and KQED are also plaintiffs in the suit but are separately represented by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.