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Criminal Justice

Judge denies stay of execution request for five Oklahoma death row inmates

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The first executions in the state since 2015 are scheduled to continue as planned after death row inmates were denied stays of execution.

Judge Stephen Friot on Monday ruled no stays of execution will be given to the five death row inmates who argued they should not be executed before a ruling on the constitutionality of Oklahoma’s lethal injection procedures comes next year.

Last week, four of the five inmates were reinstated to the lawsuit by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals after Judge Friot previously removed them when they did not specify an alternate method for their executions. The fifth, Wade Lay, was not originally in the lawsuit.

About one hour after Friot’s decision, the inmates’ attorneys filed an appeal to the 10th Circuit Court. The first of these inmates, John Grant, is scheduled to be executed on Thursday.

Tom Bates, with the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board, has delayed the clemency hearing for Julius Jones until after the ruling has been made on the appeal to the judge's decision to not delay executions during a federal lawsuit. Jones' clemency hearing is now scheduled for Nov. 1.

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