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Politics & Government

Leavitt Faces Execution Tuesday Morning

Idaho Department of Correction
Richard Leavitt

In 1985, a jury convicted Richard A. Leavitt of the brutal first-degree murder of Danette J. Elg a year earlier.  Elg of Blackfoot, Idaho had been stabbed more than a dozen times and her body was mutilated.  The state will execute 53-year old Leavitt Tuesday by lethal injection unless there’s a last minute stay.  

Male death row prisoners are housed in the Idaho Maximum Security Institution, or Idaho Max.  Guards moved Leavitt to a lone cell last month after the state Department of Correction served him with a death warrant. 

At around 6 Tuesday morning, Leavitt was offered a sedative.  Warden Randy Blades is in charge of Idaho Max.  He says Leavitt will be taken into the execution chamber, across the hall from his cell, at around ten.  "Often you may have seen, or heard, or read, you know. that they walk to the death chamber itself.  And we don’t do that,"  according to Blades.  "We go ahead and put them on a gurney, secure them on a gurney, and then wheel them in there."

 A court ruling issued last Friday means media and other witnesses will watch as Leavitt enters the room, is strapped onto a table, and an IV is inserted into his veins.  Once the warden reads Leavitt his death warrant, the culmination of nearly 30 years of court hearings and appeals for the condemned will end in about 30 minutes. 

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