Media Contact

Dorrie Toney, (404) 302-0128, [email protected]

March 19, 2024

ATLANTA–On March 18, 2024, the ACLU of Georgia and attorney Gerry Weber filed an emergency appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court, challenging a lower court’s decision not to allow expanded media access to a State execution scheduled for March 20, 2024. 

The appeal to the judge’s order, filed on behalf of nonprofit news organization The Appeal, Inc., asks the Court to ensure the State of Georgia does not violate The Appeal’s and the public’s freedom of speech, press, and access rights under the Georgia Constitution. 

The Court has given the State until 2 p.m. today to respond to the appeal.

On March 8, 2024, the ACLU of Georgia and the Law Offices of Gerry Weber filed a lawsuit on behalf of the nonprofit news organization The Appeal, Inc., challenging the arbitrary restrictions that the State of Georgia places on media witnesses during executions. The lawsuit names the Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner Tyrone Oliver, Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison Warden Shawn Emmons, and Georgia Attorney General Christopher M. Carr as violating the Georgia Constitution by denying The Appeal and the general public information that they need to be accurately informed about executions carried out by the State.

The State has scheduled the execution of Willie James Pye for March 20, 2024, but currently prohibits media witnesses from accessing key parts of the execution process. The State allows only limited auditory access to the execution process, and restricts visual access at various points during the process.