“We're here today to carry out the court order,” Idaho state Corrections Director Brent Reinke announced to the press this morning at an early-morning briefing, in advance of the scheduled execution of Richard Leavitt. He said corrections employees have been preparing for today's procedure since the November execution of Paul Ezra Rhoades. “They take no joy in this duty,” Reinke said. “Their actions reflect their deep respect for the rule of law and their commitment to our system of government.”
Asked the attitude of the condemned prisoner, Richard Leavitt, Reinke said, “His is resolved at this point.” Leavitt has had his attorneys with him in his cell. “They were having an open discussion,” Reinke said. Leavitt had the option of having a spiritual adviser accompany him, but he has not requested one. He has received several mild sedatives since his last meal yesterday at 6 p.m.
All Idaho state prisons are on modified lockdown this morning, with inmates confined to living areas. Said Reinke, “This is not a normal day, as you can well imagine. … We want to make sure that we conduct our business with the utmost professionalism.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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