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Criminal Justice

As legal fight over Oklahoma's lethal injection protocol continues, federal appeals court temporarily grants two execution stays

Oklahoma Department of Corrections
John Marion Grant (left) and Julius Jones (right)

What would have been Oklahoma’s first execution since 2015 scheduled for Thursday has been postponed.

One day after U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot denied stays of execution for five inmates on death row and their lawyers soon after asked the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for relief, that court partially granted their request - John Grant and Julius Jones have been granted a stay.

This is the most recent decision in a back-and-forth between the District Court of Western Oklahoma and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding several inmates on death row who are also involved in a lawsuit regarding the constitutionality of Oklahoma’s current lethal injection protocol.

Grant and Jones were given the first and second execution dates. Grant was scheduled to be executed Thursday afternoon. Jones was scheduled to be executed on Nov. 18. The other three inmates on death row — Donald Grant, Wade Lay and Gilbert Postelle — have not been given stays at this time.

Oklahoma is asking the U.S. Supreme Court for an appeal on the 10th Circuit Court's ruling to allow Grant a stay, so there is a potential for the execution to resume as scheduled.

This is a developing story.

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