Execution Advisory: Media Guidelines

Thursday, April 07, 2022 | 02:18pm

Media wishing to arrive at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution (RMSI) to report on the April 21, 2022 execution of Oscar Smith #136424 should RSVP by 12pm CST on April 14, 2022 to Sarah.Gallagher@tn.gov.

  • News media will be allowed at the following locations:
    • The RMSI parking lot area
    • The general public area located north of the RMSI parking lot and accessible via Cockrill Bend Boulevard.  This area is roughly ¼ mile past the prison on Cockrill Bend Boulevard.   (Note: Members of the media assigned to the general public area are asked to check-in with TDOC communications staff prior to entering these areas.)
  • The roadways on or adjacent to state property will be kept clear of people and vehicles.  There will be no taping or broadcasts from other TDOC sites in the Cockrill Bend area. 
  • Media check-in will begin at 1:00pm CST on April 21, 2022.  No media will be allowed to enter the RMSI parking lot after 5:00pm CST on April 21, 2022.  Please note: space is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis until the parking lot is unable to accommodate additional vehicles.  An RSVP does not guarantee admittance, however no one will gain admittance without an RSVP. 
  • All media must present appropriate credentials and a photo ID to be admitted to the designated media area at RMSI.
  • Media representatives will be restricted to the designated media area while in the RMSI parking lot.  ndividuals are not to cross any open areas beyond the parking lot.  Media representatives must enter and leave the RMSI parking lot by motor vehicle via the asphalt access road. 
  • All members of the media are to wear special media identification badges which will be issued at check-in on site.  The badges are to be prominently displayed at all times.  The badge must be returned to the Communications Officers at the RMSI entrance point when the individual leaves the RSMI parking lot.
  • Members of the media may leave and return to the RMSI parking lot between 1:00pm and 5:00pm as needed; however we ask that such trips are kept to a minimum.  Note: due to space limitations, TDOC does not guarantee re-entry. 
  • All media must leave the premises no later than one hour after the conclusion of the press conference following the execution.  No reporting or broadcasts from the prison property or media access to RMSI will be allowed for 72 hours thereafter.
  • Media may not interview any staff of the department involved in the execution plan prior to or after the execution. 
  • Only the TDOC Director of Communications (Dorinda.L.Carter@tn.gov)  and/or designee can answer questions about the execution.  No media calls to the prison will be answered. 
  • Media are not to interview any witnesses on the premises after the press conference is concluded.
  • Violations of these guidelines may result in the revocation of privileges.
  • Finally, please note that smoking is not allowed on any TDOC prison property.  Violating this rule will result in you being asked to leave the premises.

Note:  These guidelines are subject to change.