10.95.180  <<  10.95.185 >>   10.95.190

RCW 10.95.185

Witnesses.

(1) Not less than twenty days prior to a scheduled execution, judicial officers, law enforcement representatives, media representatives, representatives of the families of the victims, and representatives from the family of the defendant who wish to attend and witness the execution, must submit an application to the superintendent. Such application must designate the relationship and reason for wishing to attend.
(2) Not less than fifteen days prior to the scheduled execution, the superintendent shall designate the total number of individuals who will be allowed to attend and witness the planned execution. The superintendent shall determine the number of witnesses that will be allowed in each of the following categories:
(a) No less than five media representatives with consideration to be given to news organizations serving communities affected by the crimes or by the commission of the execution of the defendant.
(b) Judicial officers.
(c) Representatives of the families of the victims.
(d) Representatives from the family of the defendant.
(e) Up to two law enforcement representatives. The chief executive officer of the agency that investigated the crime shall designate the law enforcement representatives.
After the list is composed, the superintendent shall serve this list on all parties who have submitted an application pursuant to this section. The superintendent shall develop and implement procedures to determine the persons within each of the categories listed in this subsection who will be allowed to attend and witness the execution.
(3) Not less than ten days prior to the scheduled execution, the superintendent shall file the witness list with the superior court from which the conviction and death warrant was issued with a petition asking that the court enter an order certifying this list as a final order identifying the witnesses to attend the execution. The final order of the court certifying the witness list shall not be entered less than five days after the filing of the petition.
(4) Unless a show cause petition is filed with the superior court from which the conviction and death warrant was issued within five days of the filing of the superintendent's petition, the superintendent's list, by order of the superior court, becomes final, and no other party has standing to challenge its appropriateness.
(5) In no case may the superintendent or the superior court order or allow more than seventeen individuals other than required staff to witness a planned execution.
(6) All witnesses must adhere to the search and security provisions of the department of corrections' policy regarding the witnessing of an execution.
(7) The superior court from which the conviction and death warrant was issued is the exclusive court for seeking judicial process for the privilege of attending and witnessing an execution.
(8) For purposes of this section:
(a) "Judicial officer" means: (i) The superior court judge who signed the death warrant issued pursuant to RCW 10.95.160 for the execution of the individual, (ii) the current prosecuting attorney or a deputy prosecuting attorney of the county from which the final judgment and sentence and death warrant were issued, and (iii) the most recent attorney of record representing the individual sentenced to death.
(b) "Law enforcement representatives" means those law enforcement officers responsible for investigating the crime for which the defendant was sentenced to death.
(c) "Media representatives" means representatives from news organizations of all forms of media serving the state.
(d) "Representatives of the families of the victims" means representatives from the immediate families of the victim(s) of the individual sentenced to death, including victim advocates of the immediate family members. Victim advocates shall include any person working or volunteering for a recognized victim advocacy group or a prosecutor-based or law enforcement-based agency on behalf of victims or witnesses.
(e) "Representative from the family of the defendant" means a representative from the immediate family of the individual sentenced to death.
(f) "Superintendent" means the superintendent of the Washington state penitentiary.
NOTES:
Policy1993 c 463: "The legislature declares that, to the extent that the attendance of witnesses can be accommodated without compromising the security or the orderly operation of the Washington state penitentiary, it is the policy of the state of Washington to provide authorized individuals the opportunity to attend and witness the execution of an individual sentenced to death pursuant to chapter 10.95 RCW. Further, it is the policy of the state of Washington to provide for access to the execution to credentialed members of the media." [ 1993 c 463 § 1.]
Severability1993 c 463: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1993 c 463 § 3.]
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