Oklahoma executes Gilbert Postelle, the fourth death row inmate to be killed since the state resumed capital punishment
For the second time in 2022 and just the fourth time in seven years, Oklahoma has executed a death row inmate.
Gilbert Ray Postelle was pronounced dead by lethal injection at 10:14 a.m. Thursday morning. He's the fourth death row inmate to be killed since the state resumed capital punishment in October after a six-year moratorium. He was 35.
Postelle was convicted in the 2005 shooting deaths of James Alderson, Terry Smith, James "Donnie" Swindle Jr., and Amy J. Wright. He was sentenced to death for two of the murders and to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the other two.
Five media members were selected by a random draw to witness the execution: Sean Murphy (Associated Press), Nolan Clay (The Oklahoman), Wayne Stafford (KOKH), Storme Jones (KWTV) and Dylan Goforth (The Frontier).
The witnesses said the execution appeared to happen without any complications. Their accounts were largely in line with the December execution of Bigler Stouffer and the January execution of Donald Grant, but drastically different from the October execution of John Marion Grant, who convulsed two dozen times and vomited multiple times during his execution.
Postelle did not have any last words.
Swindle's sister, Shelli Milner, made a statement following the execution.
"It's never over for the families of the victims. Today is not a joyous day for anyone. Today did not end anyone's suffering. Today did not put closure on anything," Milner said. "To know that [Postelle] will never walk this earth again does give me a little more peace than I had yesterday, but I will never have peace knowing what he did to my brother Donnie, to Amy, to James and to Terry."
There are no more executions scheduled in the state at this point. Pending the results of the upcoming trial over the constitutionality of the current lethal injection protocol later this month, the state may schedule more executions.
This report was produced by the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange, a collaboration of public media organizations. Help support collaborative journalism by donating at the link at the top of this webpage.