Changes To Idaho’s Next Execution

Feb 6, 2012

BOISE, ID – Idaho Department of Correction officials have made some changes to how they handle executions.  This comes nearly three months after the state executed convicted murderer Paul Ezra Rhoades.

In the months since Rhoades’ execution, the Idaho Department of Correction analyzed the 34 page document that details each step in the process.  It’s now 35 pages long.  Brent Reinke directs the Department.  He says the biggest change now allows a single drug cocktail for lethal injection.

Brent Reinke:  “So we have two, three-drug protocols and two, single drug protocols.”

That wasn’t the case when Rhoades was executed.  There were only two, three drug cocktails as options.  Attorneys for Rhoades argued that a three drug combination could have left him conscious and in pain when administered.  A federal judge rejected that argument.  Reinke says the Department added single drug options because of availability of chemicals, not because of the legal challenge.  Other changes are administrative.

Brent Reinke:  “The media drawing.  If you recall, on November 18th, we did a media drawing that morning.  Now, that will be done seven days in advance.”

Reinke says that will give the four media witnesses more time to understand their role.   During the Rhoades execution, journalists stood in for the public to describe what they saw.  Reinke says these changes will improve how they handle future executions.  Idaho’s next execution may happen as early as July.

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio