blogadmin | 09 November, 2008 19:46
"It's all about transparency" --Seth Unger, California prison spokesman
If you watch HGTV as much as I do, you're familiar
with a show called MY BIG AMAZING RENOVATION. Much to my disappointment, the
show has been slow to recognize a major, $850,000 remodel to the death chamber
at San Quentin.
Not to worry. The transformation is detailed in a computer-animated video illustrating the changes made in the multi-room complex. The silent video, a product of the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, takes the viewer on a tour of the old facility, then the new one. The chamber-improvement video is at http://www.cce.csus.edu/CDCRVideos/2007-05-15LethalInjectionChamberVirtualTours.wmv
The virtual tour was spotted online by Jon Ortiz, author of the State Worker blog for the Sacramento Bee, www.sacbee.com . CDCR spokesman Seth Unger told Ortiz the video is part of the evidence submitted in response to litigation alleging San Quentin’s old death chamber and execution procedures were unconstitutional. A federal judge must approve the remodel before executions may resume.
"What we wanted to do was to highlight what we had done to address those concerns. … It's about transparency," Unger said. "It's all about transparency."
When I think of transparency, I think of something I can see through. If you, like me, have trouble believing that San Quentin officials approached the reconfiguration their execution complex with a passion for letting the public see exactly what's going on inside, then we agree that Mr. Unger's words, if not San Quentin's procedures, are transparent.
Elizabeth Ann Stein produces EXECUTION WATCH on KPFT FM Houston 90.1, HD-2 and www.executionwatch.org. The program, hosted by Ray Hill, airs at 6 p.m. Central Time any day Texas executes someone. It is designed to counteract the virtual news blackout in the mainstream media when prisoners are executed. She has worked as a political reporter for United Press International, police reporter at a daily newspaper, and an editor for PC Week.