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Tuesday, 12 March, 2002, 17:05 GMT
Tracy Housel's last day
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By Jonathan Duffy
in Atlanta, Georgia for BBC News Online

Barring an unlikely eleventh hour intervention, British national Tracy Housel is living his last day. He is due to be executed by the American state of Georgia at 1900 local time (0000 GMT).

0900 (1400 GMT): Housel's day starts at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson. He is allowed to meet friends and family, which will include his mother, Lula Mae Pellerin and his 20-year-old son Randall Housel. He will also be able to meet his lawyers who are frantically trying to win a stay of execution after Housel's final plea for clemency was turned down on Monday.

Lula Mae Pellerin and Randall Housel
Housel's mother (Lula Mae) and son (Randall) can visit him
Housel's legal team have filed a claim alleging his human rights had been violated while he was held on remand for the murder of Jeanne Drew in 1985. They are appealing to the Georgia Supreme Court after the claim was dismissed by a lower court on Monday. They have pledged to appeal up to the United States Supreme Court.

1430 (1930 GMT): Housel has half-an-hour to say his last goodbyes to his family in person.

1500 (2000 GMT): Housel's family will be asked to leave the prison grounds and will not be allowed back. Unlike some other states, in Georgia the inmate's family is not allowed to witness his execution.

Housel is taken back to his cell where he will receive a medical examination and be given a new set of prison clothes - white trousers and white shirt. These are the clothes he will wear for the execution.

1530 (2230 GMT): Housel will be transferred to a holding cell, which is just a door away from the death chamber. He will have his last meal, which he has request to be steak, baked potato, corn, salad, a milk shake and ice cream.

Timothy Housel
Housel's execution is set for 0000 GMT
He will also be allowed to record, on tape, a last statement.

From the room, Housel will be able to glimpse of the outside world from a skylight. He will also have access to a television and newspapers and will be able to make telephone calls to his family and lawyers, on the approval of a prison warden.

He will also have access to a chaplain.

1830 (2330 GMT): Housel will be escorted from the holding cell to the death chamber, placed in the gurney and strapped down. Two intravenous tubes - a primary and secondary line - will be inserted into his arm and he will be hooked up to a EKG machine, which monitors heart rate.

1855 (2355 GMT): Georgia's attorney general will give clearance to the state's commissioner of corrections to proceed with the execution. The commissioner will in turn advise the execution warden to go ahead.

1856 (2356 GMT): The warden will read out the death warrant and Housel will then be given two minutes to amend his last statement if he wishes. He will also be offered a prayer and has agreed to have a chaplain present.

1859 (2359 GMT): The chaplain will leave the execution chamber, leaving only Housel and a doctor present.

Five members of the press - seated in a room next door - will witness the execution through a window, as will two additional doctors, the warden and the attorney general. The family of Housel's victim, Jeanne Drew, will not be allowed to observe.

1900 (0000 GMT): The execution by lethal injection will proceed. From an adjoining room, two prison staff workers will remotely, and alternately, administer the injections.

The first injection will be sodium pentothal, a sedative. This will be followed by pavulon, which paralyses the lungs, and finally potassium chloride, which stops the heart.

Each injection will be followed by the release of a saline solution to clean the tubes.

1910 (0010 GMT): Death usually occurs within 10 minutes. The first indication is from the EKG machine which will show Housel's heart has stopped beating. This will then be confirmed by the doctor who is present in the cell with Housel.

The warden will then enter the room with two other doctors, who are there to verify death.

Housel's body is then taken from the gurney by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for an autopsy in Atlanta.

It will be returned to Housel's family on Wednesday.

Time runs out

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See also:

12 Mar 02 | Americas
Blair's appeal for death row Briton
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