Just after 10:30 Wednesday night two words stopped the conversation among reporters instantly.
“Y’all ready?” a correctional officer asked.
We were moments away from witnessing an execution. Media witnesses are as much a part of the execution process as the officers who escort the inmate to the death chamber or the officers who strap the condemned to a gurney.
Wednesday, we were there as unbiased witnesses, sitting on the back row. Our seats were behind those there on behalf of the condemned and those who prosecuted or arrested Troy Davis for the 1989 murder of Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail. The dead officer’s son and namesake, Mark MacPhail Jr., and his brother, William MacPhail, were there for the family.
We spoke little from that moment on, the five reporters selected to witness the execution.