Georgia inmate Andrew DeYoung's execution was different than most executions: it was videotaped. The execution itself was carried out last Thursday using lethal injection.
In 1993, DeYoung killed both his parents and his 14-year-old sister. A younger brother was at the house at the time of the murders, and he managed to run to a neighbor's house after hearing the noise.
The motive for the killings was believed to be an inheritance of about $480,000 that DeYoung wanted so that he could start his own business. DeYoung was 19 at the time, and was a student at Kennesaw State University, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was later convicted of the murders and sentenced to die.
Lawyers for another inmate, Gregory Walker, had wanted the execution to be videotaped so they could get evidence about Georgia's lethal injection process, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Georgia is now using a different anesthetic, pentobarbital. Some say that this newly-used drug does not put inmates into a deep enough coma that they would not feel the excruciating effect of the other drugs administered, including potassium chloride which is injected to stop the heart, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Pentobarbital is also used in euthanizing animals, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
However, lawyers for the state argued that the videotaped execution would only be disruptive of the facility's security. Georgia State Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing the filming, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. This would be the first time an execution has been taped in 20 years, USA Today reports.
Challenges to the death penalty have been brought in the past, as the Eighth Amendment prohibits "cruel and unusual" punishment. The videotaped execution, if it shows evidence that DeYoung suffered or that he was feeling pain during the proceedings, could be evidence that defense attorneys could use to stop executions for other inmates, until a better alternative is found.
Did Andrew DeYoung's execution make him suffer? The inmate reportedly blinked his eyes and swallowed for two minutes before he closed his eyes. His body then became still. The videotaped execution was caught on camera using a videographer who was about 5 feet away from DeYoung.