Five days before the execution date, a guard stands watch 24 hours a day outside the prisoner's cell. The condemned man's property is removed from the cell, and he's only allowed to wear underclothing and sandals.
A representative of the warden's office drops by to settle the final details: the menu for the last meal, the last statement by the prisoner for release to the media after the execution, the names of the five witnesses he is allowed to designate to view his death. The witnesses must be over 18.
One day before, the inmate's family and lawyers arrive. They can talk through a Plexiglas shield until midnight.
Midnight to 1 a.m., family members are allowed to enter the inmate's chamber for hugs and hand-holding through the handcuffs.
1 a.m., family members must say their final goodbye. The family goes out the front and the prisoner goes the opposite directions for final preparations.
1 a.m.-5 a.m., inmates are surrounded by guards and permitted to see their spiritual adviser. Lawyers are also present in case of a last-minute stay of execution.
Several hours before, the prisoner is fed his last meal. He showers and is shaved. Witnesses wait just before 7 a.m., in a room separated from the death chamber by a Plexiglas wall.
7 a.m., the inmate is led into the death chamber and allowed to make a final statement. Barring any last-minute stays, he is executed in front of the witnesses.
Sources: "Waiting On the Row," by Michael Hunter, Tampa Tribune