Execution Could Set Precedent

Deborah Denno in Gpb News, July 25, 2011

Media Source

by By Orlando Montoya

ATLANTA, Ga.  —  Death penalty experts say, last week's execution in Georgia could set a legal precedent.

Thursday's lethal injection to Andrew DeYoung is believed to be the first execution videotaped in this country since 1992.

DeYoung was put to death for the 1992 killings of his parents and sister.

Fordham Law School professor Deborah Denno says, since there are ongoing challenges to the death penalty's constitutionality, she believes, courts are likely to grant more requests for videotaped executions.

"I think that this is something that other lawyers are going to be requesting in cases," Denno says. "And there's a likelihood that those requests may be granted."

Georgia's Attorney General's office warned, the videotaping could lead to "sensationalism and abuse."

"States follow other states and lawyers follow other lawyers," Denno says. "So, it wouldn't be a surprise if other states and other lawyers started to request that the executions be videotaped."

Denno says, she's less concerned about the videos leaking to the public as she is about the impression the tapes may foster that lethal injection is a painless procedure.