House Bill No. 7054
               House Bill No. 7054

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 97-184


AN  ACT CONCERNING THE PRESENCE OF REPRESENTATIVES
OF THE NEWS MEDIA AT EXECUTIONS.


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section  1.  Section  54-100  of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed  and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)  The  method  of inflicting the punishment
of  death  shall  be  by  continuous   intravenous
injection  of  a  substance  or  substances  in  a
quantity sufficient to cause death, in  accordance
with  procedures prescribed by the Commissioner of
Correction in consultation with  the  Commissioner
of  Public  Health. The Commissioner of Correction
shall  direct   a   warden   of   an   appropriate
correctional  institution  to  appoint  a suitable
person OR PERSONS to perform the duty of executing
sentences of the court requiring the infliction of
the death penalty. Such person  OR  PERSONS  shall
receive,  for  such  duty, such compensation as is
determined by the Commissioner of Correction. When
any  person  is sentenced to death by any court of
this  state  having  competent  jurisdiction,   he
shall, within twenty days after final sentence, be
conveyed   to    an    appropriate    correctional
institution and such punishment shall be inflicted
only within the walls of said institution,  within
an enclosure to be prepared for that purpose under
direction of the warden of said institution.  Such
enclosure  shall  be  so constructed as to exclude
public view.
    (b) Besides the  warden  or  deputy warden and
such number of  [correction officers] CORRECTIONAL
STAFF  as  he   thinks  necessary,  the  following
persons may be present at the execution: [, but no
others: The sheriff  of  the  county  in which the
prisoner  was  tried   and   convicted,  the]  THE
Commissioner of Correction,  a  physician,  [of  a
correctional   institution,]   a    clergyman   in
attendance  upon  the   prisoner  and  such  other
adults,  as  the   prisoner   may  designate,  not
exceeding three in number, [representatives of not
more than five  newspapers in the county where the
crime was committed,  and one reporter for each of
the daily newspapers  published  in  the  city  of
Hartford]  NEWS  MEDIA  REPRESENTATIVES  AND  SUCH
OTHER   PERSONS   AS    THE   COMMISSIONER   DEEMS
APPROPRIATE.  THE  TOTAL   NUMBER   OF   WITNESSES
PERMITTED AT AN  EXECUTION  SHALL  BE  GOVERNED BY
SPACE   AND   SECURITY    REQUIREMENTS   AND   THE
COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTION  SHALL  MAKE  THE FINAL
DETERMINATION   OF   SUCH   NUMBER.   NEWS   MEDIA
REPRESENTATIVES  PRESENT  AT  AN  EXECUTION  SHALL
INCLUDE     REPRESENTATIVES     OF     NEWSPAPERS,
BROADCASTERS AND NEWS  SERVICES,  WHO SHALL REPORT
ON BEHALF OF  ALL  NEWS  MEDIA. THE NUMBER OF NEWS
MEDIA  REPRESENTATIVES  PRESENT  AT  AN  EXECUTION
SHALL BE NINE,  EXCEPT  THAT  THE COMMISSIONER, IN
HIS DISCRETION, MAY  AUTHORIZE A GREATER NUMBER OF
SUCH REPRESENTATIVES OR,  FOR SPECIFIED REASONS OF
SPACE  OR SECURITY,  MAY  REDUCE  SUCH  NUMBER  OF
REPRESENTATIVES. THE COMMISSIONER  MAY  EXCLUDE  A
WITNESS FOR SPECIFIED REASONS OF SECURITY.
    Sec.  2.  (NEW)  There shall be a committee on
news media access to executions composed  of  news
media  representatives appointed by the Associated
Press Managing Editors Association of  Connecticut
and  the Connecticut Associated Press Broadcasters
Association. The Commissioner of Correction or his
designee  shall  be  an  ex  officio member of the
committee.    The    committee    shall    receive
applications  from  news  media seeking to witness
and  report  executions  and  select  news   media
witnesses  from  such  applicants.  The  committee
shall consider applications from three  categories
of  news  media:  (1) Newspapers, broadcasters and
news services regularly reporting general news  of
the state; (2) newspapers and broadcasters nearest
the locality where the crime  was  committed;  and
(3)  newspapers  and  broadcasters  that regularly
cover   the   correctional   institutions   deemed
appropriate  by the commissioner as a location for
the infliction of the death penalty. The committee
shall  select applicants from each category unless
a  category  lacks  a  qualified  applicant.   The
committee  shall  promptly inform the commissioner
of its recommendations and inform the  news  media
recommended  to  be  witnesses. For any execution,
the commissioner shall specify the number of  news
media    witnesses   that   space   and   security
requirements  permit.   The   commissioner   shall
promptly  inform the committee if any applicant it
has recommended to be a witness is to be  excluded
for specified reasons of security.

Approved June 24, 1997