US & Canada

Georgia killer Andrew DeYoung's execution filmed

Andrew DeYoung, in a handout photo from the Georgia Department of Correction
Image caption Andrew DeYoung was convicted of killing his parents and sister in 1993

A judge in the US state of Georgia has allowed the execution of a convicted murderer to be filmed at the request of another death row inmate.

Andrew DeYoung, convicted of murdering his parents and sister, was executed by lethal injection on Thursday night.

Lawyers for the second condemned man said filming DeYoung's execution would show a chemical used in the lethal cocktail causes unnecessary suffering.

They say the drug does not adequately sedate the inmate and can cause pain.

The chemical in question, pentobarbital, is commonly used to put down animals.

No final prayer

Several US states have switched to using pentobarbital because of a nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental, an anaesthetic frequently used in executions.

DeYoung, 37, was convicted of stabbing his parents and 14-year-old sister to death in 1993 over an inheritance.

His last meal request was for pizza, grape juice, vanilla ice cream and all-fruit strawberry preserves.

When asked to make a final statement, DeYoung said he was "sorry to everyone I hurt". He declined the offer of a final prayer.

When the three-drug injection began, DeYoung blinked and swallowed for about two minutes, then his eyes closed and he became still, according to the Associated Press news agency.

He was pronounced dead at 20:04 EST on Thursday (00:04 GMT on Friday).

On Monday, a Fulton County Georgia judge ruled that death row inmate Gregory Walker's lawyers may have a videotape of DeYoung's execution.

Prosecutors had objected to the proposed recording.

Walker has filed a lawsuit challenging his own death sentence on the grounds that the state's lethal injection drugs illegally cause pain and suffering.

He was sentenced to death in 2005 for the murder of a 23-year-old hotel maid who had stolen drugs and cash from him as he slept in a hotel room.

The BBC's Peter Bowes in Los Angeles says the only other instance of a similar recording of an execution was in California in 1992 as part of a challenge against the use of the gas chamber.

California later abolished that method of execution.