WA State First Execution in Seven Years Takes Place on Dec. 3rd - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WA State First Execution in Seven Years Takes Place on Dec. 3rd

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WALLA WALLA, Wash-- On December 3rd the first execution in seven years will happen at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

Washington is one of the 36 states with the death penalty. Executions are only done at the Penitentiary.

"For me the most important thing is to make sure that we do the execution in a humane and dignified manner," said Belinda Stewart, Communications Director at the Dept. of Corrections.

Darold Stenson was convicted of murdering his wife and business partner in 1993 in Sequim. He will be lethally injected. He will be put in a holding cell before being taken to the chamber.

"This is where he'll have his last meal he has a couple of choices he can eat off the regular menu that's being served to the rest of the facility or he'll have several different items that he can chose from," said Shari Hall, Dept. of Corrections

Executions all take place at 12:01 a.m. The offender is brought into the chamber, placed on this table and restrained. IV's are then started in their right and left arms.

"The superintendent asks the offender, do they have any last words and if they do they are allowed to give those and then the superintendent gives the order for the execution to proceed and at that time the drugs are started," said Stewart. 

There are three drugs that are injected, first one for sedation, then a parlyzing drug, and the last drug stops the heart.