Idaho has executed a man for his role in the brutal stabbing and mutilation of a Blackfoot woman nearly three decades ago, marking the first time witnesses were allowed to watch the whole process of lethal injection in the state after a challenge by media organizations.
Prison officials declared 53-year-old Richard Leavitt dead at 10:25 a.m. Tuesday by lethal injection at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution. It was only Idaho's second execution in 17 years.
Idaho changed its policy of barring witnesses from watching the first half of executions after The Associated Press and 16 other news organizations sued for access. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the policy violated the First Amendment last week.
Leavitt was convicted of stabbing 31-year-old Danette Elg, of Blackfoot, in 1984.