I don't know but isn't that classy of the governor to request it be opened for tours?
Auschwitz and Dachau are tourist destinations. Both camps are maintained as memorials and museums. The Tower of London has a torture museum but I hear the one in Prague has a larger more diverse collection. Stalin and Mao found it necessary to kill tens of millions for political reasons. We have our own body counts. So do the narco drug lords. Our species as a whole is fascinated by violence and its aftermath.
So perhaps, with or without a few beers, lots of people might like a picture of themselves sitting in an electric chair with laughing friends standing around flashing gang signs. It is possible that taken in the right light and with darkroom distortions such an image might be called art and sold to a member of the1 percent for an astronomical amount of money just like the “piss Christ”. I have nothing against the "piss Christ, in fact I get it. ( a print sold for $277,000 in 2008)
Our Governor is doing nothing out of the ordinary. Out of the ordinary would be razing the old prison and growing flowers or wheat.
Strange but true...prison tourism is big money. People will pay to tour a place where they would never have wanted to be if they really knew what it was like. Gas chambers and electric chairs are really hot...so to speak. Cell-block motels are a big thing. Having worked in and around prisons for 20 years it just gives me the creeps.
I have no intention of going, but if I were with a ghost hunting group, the old prison might be worth checking out.
Ive gone twice with a group to go photograph it, like any other large industry, and architecture, there is alot of beauty and wonder in it, (when its not all full of bad people).. and its a tangible bit of big SW history.