Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction






Not For Broadcast or Publication

January 7, 2008

Media Instruction and Information Sheet



The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) Public Information Office will be accepting credentials/identification information from media outlets that are planning to cover the execution of inmate John Spirko, a Van Wert County case.  Information must be faxed to the DRC Public Information Office no later than noon on Friday, January 18, 2008.  The fax number is (614) 752-1171.  The execution is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 24, 2008, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio.

There are two forms of identification that need to be submitted (one picture ID) and a letter (on affiliate letterhead) from the news organization you represent. This letter should include your home address, as well as your work and home telephone numbers.  A list will be generated from the information received and you will be cleared only after completing this process.  You must have the same credentials with you at the site.  If you are not pre-credentialed you will not gain access to the prison Media Center.  The Media Center is a secure area that is being provided inside the prison.  Non-credentialed media will be permitted to cover the event from the prison parking lot.

The Media Center will be activated at 4:30 p.m. the day prior to the execution.  A media briefing will be held at 4:45 p.m. that day.    The Media Center will reopen at 6:00 a.m. the day of the execution. There will be a briefing at 7:45 a.m. the day of the execution. All media must arrive at the Media Center by 8:30 a.m. in order to be allowed in the center.  No persons will be permitted to enter or leave the center after 8:45 a.m. until the execution is carried out.   Media witnesses and pool reporters must report to the prison no later than 8:45 a.m. on the morning of the execution.   The Media Center will close at 1:00 p.m.    At that time any remaining media will be escorted out of the prison by the media teams.

There will be no access to other areas of the prison.  Movement will be limited to and from the Media Center. For security purposes, photographs and taped video may not be taken outside of the Media Center.  Television and radio crews will be able to bring their equipment into the center.  Live remote shots must be done outside due to security at the institution.

Immediately following the execution, the official spokeswoman from DRC will make a formal announcement regarding the time of death.  Following that statement the pool reporters and media witnesses will hold a briefing. A written transcript of the inmate’s final statement will be provided at the conclusion of the briefing.   No further interviews with DRC staff will be conducted.  No one will be permitted to leave the center until the briefings have been concluded.

Each affiliate will be permitted two persons in the Media Center.  There will be reserved seating for major media outlets. 

A mult-box will be provided.  Each media outlet should bring proper equipment. DRC will supply media witnesses to the execution with paper, pens and pencils.

Per DRC’s media policy for the execution, the Ohio Legislative Correspondents Association will select a print reporter.  The Director of DRC will select a television pool reporter through a lottery system comprised of the four major news affiliates from the county of commitment. The radio station will be selected by the DRC Public Information Office.

This information is subject to change.  For further information please contact the DRC Public Information Office at (614) 752-1150.