Oklahoma said an execution had no complications. Reporters had a different story.

Media eyewitnesses have been a feature of state and federal executions for decades, and almost every death penalty state has some kind of law or regulation about allowing media witnesses, Dunham said. In Georgia, five journalists can be present and the policy specifically states one of them should be a representative from the Associated Press — a common practice in many other states, including Tennessee, which allows up to seven members of the media, selected by drawing. In Florida, the Florida Association of Broadcasters and the Florida Press Association each select five members as witnesses, in addition to one AP reporter.

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