A staff employee at the Alabama Department of Corrections told an Alabama reporter that her skirt was too short while she was present for an execution, therefore she was compelled to change.
News Reporter Told To Leave Execution Viewing Room Because 'Skirt Was Too Short'
A journalist who was reporting an execution in an Alabama prison was asked to leave after being told her skirt was too short.
Ivana Hrynkiw was reporting on Joe Nathan James Jr.'s execution at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore when she was instructed to cover her appearance.
James, 49, was given a death sentence for the 1994 murder of Faith Hall in Birmingham, Alabama, and on Thursday he was put to death by lethal injection.
However, Ms. Hrynkiw claimed that to witness the execution, she had to borrow a set of fishermen's waders from a nearby television reporter and put on a pair of tennis shoes because her sandals, which showed her toes, were also unacceptable.
Kelly Betts, a public information officer for the Alabama Department of Corrections, is said to have informed her that her attire was inappropriate.
“I have worn this skirt to prior executions without incident, to work, professional events, and more and I believe it is more than appropriate. At 5′10″ with my heels on, I am a tall and long-legged person,” she said on Twitter.
According to Ms. Hrynkiw, she tried to lower her skirt as much as possible to comply, but it was difficult, and she was forced to put on the waders worn by fishermen.
“I put on the man’s pants and attached the suspenders underneath my shirt to stay up,” she said.
“Despite wearing a pair of waders from a man I have never met and casual tennis shoes, I continued to do my job,” Hrynkiw said. “This was an uncomfortable situation, and I felt embarrassed to have my body and my clothes questioned in front of a room of people I mostly had never met.”
She contacted the prison to ask why her attire was inappropriate and was then sent to the internet dress code for prison visits, as per Al.com.
It states: “All dresses, skirts, and pants shall extend below the knee (females only). Splits/Slits must be knee length or lower (females only)."
And for shoes, it gives a list of what is now allowed which are: “slippers, shower shoes, and beach shoes.”
Even though Ms. Hrynkiw had previously attended executions wearing a similar outfit, a prison official claimed that the code had not previously been followed and that Terry Raybon, the new warden, intended to do so.