Execution Transparency Resolution (2015)

Short Name: Execution Transparency Resolution
Year Adopted: 2015
Meeting Where Adopted: Mid-Year
Policy Number: 2015 MY 108B
Subjects: Death Penalty, Execution Protocols, Transparency

Resolution Text:

RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges federal, state, and territorial legislative bodies and governmental agencies, including departments of corrections, and the military that impose or implement capital punishment, to:

(1)   promulgate execution protocols in an open and transparent manner and allow public comment prior to final adoption; and,

(2)   require disclosure to the public, to condemned prisoners facing execution, and to courts all relevant information regarding execution procedures, including but not limited to:

a.       the steps to be followed in preparation for, during, and after an execution,

b.      the qualifications and background of execution team members, and

c.       details about any drugs to be used, including the names, manufacturers or suppliers, doses, expiration date(s), and testing results concerning use of the drugs.

(3)   require that an execution process, including the process of setting IVs, be viewable by media and other witnesses from the moment the condemned prisoner enters the execution chamber until the prisoner is declared dead or the execution is called off;

(4)   create and maintain contemporaneous records of what transpires during the execution, including but not limited to the drugs administered, the timing of administration, and any complications, errors or unanticipated events;

(5)   disclose the entirety of records and logs on the execution process upon order of the court or as otherwise required in discovery or by law upon request of a death-sentenced prisoner, the prisoner’s counsel, or successors; and,

(6)   provide an immediate, thorough, and independent review of any execution where the condemned prisoner struggles or appears to suffer, where the execution is otherwise prolonged, or where the execution deviates from the adopted protocols and regulations concerning the execution process.