Corrections officials say the project’s been put on hold because it’s costing more than expected. They’d originally estimated the price of a new death chamber at 399-thousand dollars – just under the 400-thousand that would have prompted a legislative review. Now officials say the cost may run as high as 725-thousand dollars. A corrections spokesman says that’s due partly to roof repairs, new medical equipment and new fire alarms.
The administration says it was building the new chamber because a federal judge cited problems with the old one when he declared a moratorium on executions last year. State lawmakers have planned a hearing into the corrections department’s actions next week.