ATMORE, Ala. (WIAT) – Alabama prison officials are reminding members of the media to “wear a complete set of undergarments” if they plan to witness the execution of Alan Eugene Miller scheduled for later this month.
In a media advisory sent ahead of Miller’s scheduled execution by lethal injection, the Alabama Department of Corrections wrote that reporters would be required to adhere to a dress code outlined in the agency’s administrative regulations. That policy, which applies to visitors of the prison and has no specific guidelines for journalists or executions, includes a requirement that “visitor(s) must wear a complete set of undergarments.”
Several sections of the policy attached to ADOC’s media advisory were highlighted in yellow by the agency, including the regulation on undergarments.
“All dresses, skirts, and pants shall extend below the knee (females only). Splits/Slits must be knee length or lower (females only),” the highlighted section continued. “All blouses and shirts must be long enough to cover the waist and chest area.”
The emphasis on ADOC’s dress code comes after corrections officials told a female reporter her skirt was too short to witness the execution of Joe Nathan James earlier this year. After changing into a pair of waders provided by a colleague, she was allowed to witness the lethal injection.
ADOC’s media advisory also reflects a change in policy regarding press access to cell phones during transport to Holman Correctional Facility from a nearby media center.
“Media witnesses will be allowed to take their cell phones onto the transport van, but will be required to leave them inside the van before entering Holman CF,” the advisory said.
Before the execution of Joe Nathan James in July, members of the media sat in a prison van outside death row for hours without access to electronic devices or means of communication.
An independent autopsy of James later showed that he had been subjected to an outdated procedure called a “cutdown” where cuts are made to facilitate vein access. James’ eyes were not open at the beginning of his execution, and he appeared motionless, save for his breathing, but corrections officials denied the man had been sedated.
The night of James’ execution, Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm refused to provide an explanation for the hours-long delay.
Alan Eugene Miller, whose execution is set for Sept. 22, was convicted of the shooting deaths of three men – Lee Michael Holdbrooks, Christopher Scott Yancy, and Terry Lee Jarvis – in Shelby County in 1999.