Two killers: Charles Ryan and Daniel Wayne Cook
As the Arizona Department of Corrections prepares to kill Daniel Wayne Cook tomorrow, I wonder if his last words will be censored at the whim of Director Charles Ryan.
On July 2, I emailed Ryan the following questions:
- Do you have the legal authority to decide what is offensive? If so, what criteria do you apply?
- Do you have the legal authority to decide what is intended to offend? If so, what method do you use to determine a person’s intentions?
- Does the prisoner have the right to speak before being executed, or is it a privilege that can be granted or denied at the discretion of the Department of Corrections?
- If it is the prisoner’s right to speak, do you have the legal authority to turn off the microphone while a prisoner is saying their last words, if you deem what is being said intentionally offensive? If so, what is the point of law that gives you this authority?
I have received no response.