by Philip Holthoff
This time, Williams did not get a stay of execution nor was he granted clemency. The Department of Corrections called us a few days before his execution and instructed us as to when and where to meet. Nobody who had been approved to witness the execution was allowed to drive their own vehicle directly to the prison in order to watch the execution. Instead they had us assemble at the administrative offices of the D of C which was located about 30 miles north of the prison.
As soon as we arrived our IDs were checked and we were told to leave all phones and watches in our vehicles. We were then gathered into a large conference type room and seated at a large table while the D of C prepared our supper. After we were finished eating, an “Emotional Psychologist” explained how the execution would go down and what we were about to witness. Closer to 7 PM-which is the time Williams was scheduled for execution- were were divided into two groups. Only the immediate family ( wife, brother, sister, children) of the victim were allowed to go into the death chamber and witness the execution live. The rest of us (nieces, nephews, cousins, grandchildren, and friends of the victim) were loaded into separate vans.
We were then given a police escort to the prison and in all honesty I have never seen so many state troopers in one place. We roared along the interstate close to 100 miles an hour. I counted over 25 vehicles in our group ( D of C vans, state police cars, and unmarked police vehicles). If it wasn’t for the somber occasion I might have felt like a celebrity, but part of me also thought they were following way too close to each other ( it looked about 4 feet apart to me) and the slightest mistake could have caused a massive pile up.
As we pulled into the prison I noticed news vans from all over the world in addition to Fox news and CNN. I did not, however, see a single protester and I was told the D of C kept them well away from the view of witnesses.