News Releases


The California Department of Corrections has completed processing security clearances for media firms requesting to send representatives to San Quentin State Prison for the July 14 scheduled execution of Thomas M. Thompson.

Firms have been contacted by telephone with the information on clearances for their staff members.

The following information should be distributed to all media representatives who will be involved as witnesses or participants of the news conference at San Quentin State Prison.

On July 13, 1998, media may enter the West Gate of San Quentin between 1 PM and 5 PM. For security purposes, two forms of identification will be required. One must be an official photo ID such as driver’s license, passport, or state-issued identification card. Only those credentialed for the news conference will be permitted. All broadcast vans must enter no later than 3 PM. Any media representative who leaves the prison after 3 PM will not be permitted to return at a later time that day.

Media witnesses to the execution may enter as late as 8 PM through the West Gate of the prison.

Do not wear blue, black, or gray denim clothing or yellow raincoats. It is illegal to bring alcohol, drugs, or weapons into a California State Prison. Vehicles and individuals entering a California State Prison are subject to search.

Private vehicles, except for designated microwave or satellite broadcast trucks, will be parked near the West Gate. After credentials are confirmed, reporters will be transported by prison shuttle to the Media Center.

Pool cameras will cover the media witness news conference.

A video/audio feed for broadcasters is limited to two camera operators and two audio technicians. The broadcast vans facilitating distribution of the feed will be parked closest to the building.

Media movement will be restricted to the Media Center (In-Service Training (IST) building) and broadcast support area. No access will be permitted to the East Gate.

Media witnesses to the execution will be escorted to the IST building immediately after leaving the witness observation area. Media witnesses must agree to make themselves available to members of the pool for interviews after the initial press conference. Associated Press and the Orange County Register are providing still photography pictures.

The media pool arrangements are being coordinated by pool organizers, NorCal RTNDA Darryl Compton at (650) 341-9978 and SocCal RTNA Carolyn Fox at (818) 986-8168

The IST building has 60-amp electrical service with a limited number of outlets. There are 7 pay telephones.