WGXA Reporter Witnesses Execution of Andrew Cook
There were only a handful of protesters at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson for 38-year-old Andrew Cook's execution Thursday night.
By 6 p.m. WGXA's Shonti Tager had to leave his camera, cell phone , even his wristwatch behind as he was taken into the prison to wait with other media witnesses as appeals filed by Cook's lawyers waited to be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Just after 10:30 p.m., and after hours of waiting, and talking about what to expect, media witnesses were told the Supreme Court had denied Cook's last appeal, and the execution would proceed.
Media witnesses were taken in a van through heavy prison security, to the execution chamber, where they waited while other witnesses filed into the viewing room. Roughly 30 people witnessed Cook's execution, packed into a small room with 3 pews, and people standing in the back.
Cook was spread out arms wide on the execution table, an I.V. flowing from his lower arm. He was looking at the witnesses, but didn't show any visible emotion.
Cook's final words are as follows: "I would like to apologize to the victim's families, I have more to say but I was not able to give that statement. It was senseless, and I'm sorry.I 'm not going to ask you to forgive me, I can't do it myself. I thank my family for their support, for being with me, and I'm sorry I took so much from you all."
The prison warden gave the final command and cook was administered a lethal dose of sedative at 11:08 p.m. After 2 to 3 minutes of heavy breathing, Cook's chest stopped heaving, and the life drained out of his face, although his eyes stayed open.
For ten minutes, Cook lay motionless on the execution table until two doctors came into the chamber, inspected him and pronounced him dead at 11:22 p.m. Curtains were then pulled shut and witnesses filed out of the room, back into vans and were taken to their cars.