Missouri Changes Execution Media Policy After Lawsuit | KBIA

Missouri Changes Execution Media Policy After Lawsuit

Nov 27, 2018

Missouri will now leave it up to news organizations to pick which reporters bear witness to executions following a journalist's lawsuit.

The change is part of a settlement that led to the lawsuit's dismissal Tuesday.

Previously, the Missouri Department of Corrections director picked which reporters were denied or granted access. But BuzzFeed News reporter Chris McDaniel sued in 2016 after he was not allowed access.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri sued on his behalf. Legal Director Tony Rothert said in a statement that the government can't grant or deny access based on officials' feelings about journalists' reporting.

A spokeswoman for the department declined to comment.

The new policy allows The Associated Press, Missouri Broadcasters Association, Missouri Press Association and another media outlet to select reporters to watch executions.